The prevalence of depression among health sciences students at Al- Quds University

Issa Raja Abo Eram
عيسى رجا أبو عرام
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Al-Quds University
Health sciences education is known as a stressful and high challenging environment that affect physical and psychological student’s well-being. Students represent a highly educated population under significant pressures. These pressures are common and associated with depression. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of depression among health sciences students at Al- Quds University. In order to achieve the study aim, a cross sectional study was conducted. The target population of the present study was (3390). Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-􀀀, 1969) self-reported questionnaire was utilized . The sample consisted of (357) students at Al- Quds University in West Bank who were selected conveniently from the health sciences students. The completed questionnaires were entered and analyzed using (SPSS) software version 21 by using descriptive analysis and parametric tests such as frequency, percentage, T-test, and ANOVA. The finding of the study showed that , 47.9% had minimal symptoms of depression and 40.3% of students were may clinically depressed. According to BDI score ≥ 17 which is the cutoff point for diagnosis 23.2% of the participants had moderate depressive symptoms, 19.7% had mild symptoms and 9.2% had severe depressive symptoms. Further, the study results showed that there were no significant difference in depression in regard to number of siblings, family income, parental marital status, the presence of medical illness and the student’s medical and paramedical specialty. Whereas, the findings revealed that there were significant differences in depression in regard to gender, age, region of living, place of residence, religiosity level, study year, present of psychological problems and death thoughts. Female participants had more depressive symptoms than males with p-value (0.001) ; the participants whose age was 22 and older had the highest prevalence of depression than other ages with p-value (0.024). Participants from the south and the middle regions of the West Bank had more depressive symptoms with p-value (0.007) than the participants from the north regions. The participants from rural areas had more depressive symptoms with p-value (0.02) than the III participants from urban areas of the West Bank. Moreover, the fifth year and above group of participants had the highest prevalence of depression with p-value (0.027) than other groups. The depression rate among nursing, midwifery and physiotherapy students had was (50%) and it was a higher than their peers. There was also a significant difference in the prevalence of depression in relation to death thoughts with p-value (0.0001) and psychological status with p-value (0.0001) of the participants. Finally, the findings showed a statistically significant difference in prevalence of depression in regard to religiosity level. The committed religious participants had more depression with p-value (0.029) than somehow religious participants. In the stepwise regression analysis, variables that were significantly associated with the prevalence of depression were included in the model. The model includes gender, age, the region of living, place of residence, year of study, religiosity level, death thoughts and psychological state. The predictors were death thoughts, psychological state, and region of living. Conclusion : Based on the findings, depression among health sciences students is a serious issue. Results from this study indicate that 32% of the participants had moderate and severe depressive symptoms. Moreover, 24% of the participants have suicidal thoughts and wishes and 6.7% among them think that death is the solution to solve their problems. That means, those students want to end their pain by suicidal way. Thus depressive students need psychotherapy intervention and help. Whereas students with suicidal ideation need to solve their problems as soon as possible. the study recommends to develop awareness to recognize the psychological problems of students at Al-Quds University.