Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Depression in junior doctors

A study of 481 junior doctors in Brazil has found high levels of depression among them. The researchers carrying out the study divided depression symptoms into three clusters: affective, cognitive and somatic. Affective symptoms were the students' levels of sadness, dissatisfaction, episodes of crying, irritability and social withdrawal. The cognitive symptoms were pessimism, a sense of failure or guilt, an expectation of punishment, dislike of self, suicidal ideation, indecisiveness and a change of body image. The somatic cluster were slowness, insomnia, fatigue, weight changes and loss of sexual interest. The study found a high prevalence of depressive symptoms among the medical students, particularly female students, mainly involving the somatic and affective clusters. 38% of the students had at least 10 out of a possible 63 symptoms of depression. Depression scores were higher in the early years of participants' training as they moved into the hospital environment. Having a parent who was a doctor was found to reduce the risk of depression.

You can find out more about this study by clicking the link in the title of this post.

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