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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 44  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 14-18
Prevalence of depression among students of a dental tertiary care center in Kerala

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Government Dental College, Alappuzha, Kerala, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, Kerala, India
3 Public Health Dentistry, Government Dental College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
4 Department of Periodontics, Government Dental College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Devraj Ramakrishnan
Department of Community Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Edapally, Kochi, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijcm.IJCM_23_19

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Introduction: According to the World Health Organization, more than 300 million people were estimated to suffer from depression in 2017. Many studies have observed that medical personnel have a higher level of depression, but studies among dentists are scarce. Early diagnosis will help in controlling the morbidity and mortality due to depression. Hence, this study was undertaken to estimate the prevalence of depression among students of Government Dental College (GDC), Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of the state of Kerala, India. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at GDC, Thiruvananthapuram, for a period of 3 months from September to December 2017, using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and a pro forma comprising 37 questions. Students having PHQ scores >9 were considered to have depression. The questionnaire was administered on 364 students comprising undergraduate students, paradental students, house surgeons, and postgraduates. Separate sessions were arranged for each group and four reminders were given. Results: The prevalence of depression was estimated as 26.9% (95% confidence interval: 22.4–31.8). Being married, having high and average level of course satisfaction, and having close friends were found to act as independent protective factors, whereas female gender and breakups in relationships were found to be independent risk factors. Conclusion: It is high time we provide supportive programs and implement preventive measures to help professional students, especially those who are at higher risk of mental ill-health. Further studies need to be conducted to explore the academic reasons for depression.

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