The prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms from an Arabian setting: A wake up call

E. A. Al-Faris*, F. Irfan, C. P. M. Van Der Vleuten, Naghma Naeem, A. Alsalem, N. Alamiri, T. Alraiyes, M. Alfowzan, A. Alabdulsalam, A. Ababtain, S. Aljabab, M. Bukhari, O. Alsinaidi, Y. Alofaisan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Web of Science)


It has been shown that medical students have a higher rate of depressive symptoms than the general population and age- and sex-matched peers. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of depressive symptoms among the medical students of a large school following a traditional curriculum and its relation to personal background variables. A descriptive-analytic, cross-sectional study was conducted in a medical school in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The medical students of King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, were screened for depressive symptoms using the 21-item Beck Depression Inventory. A high prevalence of depressive symptoms (48.2%) was found, it was either mild (21%), moderate (17%), or severe (11%). The presence and severity of depressive symptoms had a statistically significant association with early academic years (p <0.000) and female gender (p <0.002). The high prevalence of depressive symptoms is an alarming sign and calls for remedial action, particularly for the junior and female students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S32-S36
JournalMedical Teacher
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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