Student centered curricular elements are associated with a healthier educational environment and lower depressive symptoms in medical students

Eiad Abdelmohsen AlFaris, Naghma Naeem*, Farhana Irfan, Riaz Qureshi, Cees van der Vleuten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Any curriculum change is essentially an environmental change; therefore there is a need to assess the impact of any change in the curriculum on the students' perception of the Educational Environment (EE) and psychological well-being. The objectives of the current study are to (i) compare the EE perceptions of medical students studying in a System Based Curriculum (SBC) with those studying in a traditional curriculum (ii) compare the rate of depressive symptoms among the same students studying in both types of curricula (iii) determine whether there is a difference in the EE perception and depressive symptoms based on gender and year of study.A cross sectional survey was conducted in a Saudi Medical School from 2007-2011, a period in which the school transitioned from a traditional to a SBC. A bilingual version of the Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure (DREEM) inventory was used for measuring the EE; the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI II) was used for screening of depressive symptoms. A separate demographic questionnaire was also used. Mean scores and percentages were calculated. Continuous variables were summarized as means and standard deviation. For comparison of means, the effect size and student t test (with significance level of
Original languageEnglish
Article number192
JournalBMC Medical Education
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2014


  • Curriculum
  • Educational environment
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Medical students

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