Is the Mental Wellbeing of Doctors Becoming an Increasing Concern?

Research Paper Title

Depressive symptoms in residents of a tertiary training hospital in Malaysia: The prevalence and associated factors.

Background

The mental wellbeing of doctors is becoming an increasing concern in the world today.

In Malaysia, residency is a challenging period in a doctor’s life, with many changes professionally and possibly in their personal lives as well.

This study aims to determine the prevalence of depressive symptoms and the socio-demographic correlates among residents in a tertiary training hospital in Malaysia.

It is a cross sectional study and all residents were approached to participate in the study.

Methods

The instruments used were a socio-demographic questionnaire and the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9).

Chi-square test was used to explore the association between the socio-demographic correlates, and those that were found to have significant associations were further tested using multivariate logistic regression.

Results

The prevalence of depression among residents was 25.1 %. Longer working hours, missing meals, and working in Department of Surgery and Department of Anaesthesia was significantly positively associated while having protected study time, CME/lectures, leisure/hobbies and exercise were negatively associated with depression.

The Department of Rehabilitation Medicine had a significantly negative association with depression. After logistic regression, longer working hours and a lack of protected study time was significantly associated with depression in the respective departments.

Conclusions

In summary, the prevalence of depression among residents is high and is associated with longer working hours, missing meals and a lack of protected study time are significantly associated with depression.

Remedial steps should be taken to improve the mental health among residents.

Reference

Nair, N., Ng, C.G. & Sulaiman, A.H. (2021) Depressive symptoms in residents of a tertiary training hospital in Malaysia: The prevalence and associated factors. Asian Journal of Psychiatry. doi: 10.1016/j.ajp.2021.102548. Online ahead of print.

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