The relationship between study skills and depressive symptoms among medical residents

Eiad AlFaris, Muhannad AlMughthim, Farhana Irfan*, Nassr Al Maflehi, Gominda Ponnamperuma, Huda E. AlFaris, Abdullah M. A. Ahmed, Cees van der Vleuten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background The cost of depression among residents is staggering as it extends into the quality and safety of patient care. Finding an explanation to resident depression by investigating the associated factors is therefore important. Study skills can be a possible factor, and a clear gap in the literature exists in this regard. We sought to investigate the relationship between depressive symptoms among residents and their study skills. Methods This was a correlational study and a non-probability sample of 240 residents completed the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II) and the Study Skills Inventory (SSI). Chi-square test was used to compare different categorical variables, while student t-test and ANOVA for continuous data. Pearson's correlation coefficient was performed to find the relationship between depressive symptoms and study skills and the association that these measures have with the demographic variables. Results Overall, 186 residents (76%) filled out the questionnaire. The SSI total score was found to have a significant negative association with the BDI-II depression score (Pearson correlation = - 0.447and p <0.000). No significant association was found between the total SSI score and the residents' sex, age, marital status, smoking status, training years or specialties. Conclusion Poor study skills were found to be correlated with higher depressive symptoms. Future studies are required to develop a deeper understanding of this relationship and reconfigure the approach to study skills for the well-being of the future physicians.

Original languageEnglish
Article number435
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2019


  • Medical residents
  • Study skills
  • Depressive symptoms

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