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February/March 2016 (vol. 12/5)

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Research Plus

Doctors in training at risk of depression

More than one in four physicians in training have depression or depressive symptoms at any one time, according to this meta-analysis of 31 cross-sectional studies and 23 longitudinal studies, with a combined total of over 17,500 individuals. Depression or depressive symptoms were mostly measured using self-report questionnaires; just three papers used clinical interviews. The overall prevalence of either depression or depressive symptoms was 28.8% (CI 25.3%–32.5%), though estimates varied depending on the type of assessment tool used – 21% for the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire to 43% for the two-item PRIME-MD – and tended to be higher in studies of low methodological quality. Prevalence estimates from US studies did not differ significantly from those conducted elsewhere. Analysis of longitudinal studies found a significant increase (16%) in symptoms within one year of starting training.

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Occupational Health at Work February/March 2016 (vol. 12/5) pp36-37