First- and last-year medical students: is there a difference in the prevalence and intensity of anxiety and depressive symptoms?

Ana M. Bassols, Lucas S. Okabayashi, Anais B. da Silva, Bruna B. Carneiro, Fernando Feijó, Guilherme C. Guimarães, Gabriela N. Cortes, Luis A. Rohde, Claudio L. Eizirik
2014 Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria  
Objective: Medical training is considered a significant stress factor. We sought to assess the prevalence and intensity of anxiety and depressive symptoms in medical students and compare samples of first-year and sixth-year students. Method: This was a cross-sectional study of first-and sixth-year medical students who attended classes regularly. The study instruments were a sociodemographic questionnaire, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). Results: A
more » ... I). Results: A total of 232 students (110 first-year, 122 sixth-year) completed the questionnaires, for a response rate of 67.4%. Overall 50.4% of respondents were male (56.4% of first-year and 45.1% of sixth-year students). Anxiety symptoms were reported by 30.8% of first-year students and 9.4% of sixth-year students (p , 0.001). Female students were more affected by anxiety. There were no significant between-group differences in depressive symptoms. Conclusion: A higher prevalence of anxiety symptoms was found in first-year medical students as compared with sixth-year students. Strategies should be developed to help medical students, particularly female students, manage these symptoms at the beginning of their medical training.
doi:10.1590/1516-4446-2013-1183 pmid:24676042 fatcat:5yjt4qws4nepteomq4yedwr7ra