Objectives Depression and suicide often affect young physicians coping with the demands of residency training. To support effective prevention programmes, we aim to assess depression, quality of life (QoL) and coping style of doctors prior to beginning residency training.
Methods A cross-sectional study of physicians prior to their first year of residency training at the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Thailand, was conducted. Questionnaires including the Thai versions of the Proactive Coping Inventory, Patient Health Questionnaire and the Pictorial Thai Quality of Life (PTQL) scale were emailed to all first-year residents 1 week before the beginning of residency training in 2015. Descriptive statistics, χ2 test, independent-sample t-test and Pearson’s correlation test were analysed.
Results Among 277 doctors, 102 (36.8%) responded to the survey. The average age of respondents was 26.8 (range 25–33; SD=1.2) and 69.6% were women. Nearly all (99.0%) had moderate-to-high overall QoL scores. Depression was found in 10 (9.8%) of respondents. Depression severity was negatively correlated with proactive coping and QoL. Proactive coping (r=0.509, p<0.001), reflective coping (r=0.266, p=0.007), strategic planning (r=0.347, p<0.001), preventive coping (r=0.298, p=0.002) and emotional support seeking (r=0.252, p=0.011) were positively correlated with QoL. Furthermore, proactive was correlated with lower depressive symptoms severity (r=−0.303, p=0.002).
Conclusions Although nearly all doctors reported moderate-to-high QoL, positive screening for depression was observed in 9.8% of doctors which is much higher than the prevalence in Thais (1.2%). Mental health promotion policies are essential to help residents effectively cope with the stress and demands of training.
- depression & mood disorders
- medical education & training
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