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IJMDC. 2023; 7(1): 152-155

Depression among medical students in Saudi Arabia in the last 3 years: a review

Kawther Mohammad Al Ismail, Sukinah Adel Alabkary, Ibtihal Shubbar Al Ismail, Batool Mohammed Alsamahiji, Zahra Adel Al Hamoud, Wjdan Abduljlil Al Arqan, Noor Munir Altarouti.


Depression is a mental state characterized by persistent low mood and anhedonia for 2 weeks or more. It is estimated that 3.8% of the population is affected. The primary purpose of our study was to review the prevalence and risk factors of depression among medical students in Saudi Arabia. A systematic search was performed through PubMed and Saudi Digital Library databases. The legibility of the articles was assessed by checking the source’s reliability. Any article that discusses the association of depression during the COVID-19 pandemic in medical students or any articles that examine another psychiatric illness with depression were excluded. The prevalence of depression among medical students in Saudi Arabia ranged from 14.7% to 55.8%, with a mean prevalence of 35.25%. Various questionnaires were used to evaluate depression, and the extracted data, which revealed that medical students tend to have mild to severe depression, was summarized. The findings of this review suggested that the high depression rate among female medical students might be due to differences in psychological, biological, social, and family factors. Being in clinical years, having a psychiatric history and significant life events, having long travel time from home to university, being a parent, and non-Saudi increase the risk of depression in medical students.

Key words: Depression, Saudi Arabia, KSA, medical student, medical college.

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