Characteristics Associated with Depression and Suicidal Thoughts Among Medical Residents: Results from the DEPRESS-Ohio Study has been published in Academic Psychiatry. The study, spear-headed by former president, Alan Levy, MD who served as lead investigator was developed and conducted by OPPA's Depression in Medical Trainees Committee. Congratulations go out to Dr. Levy and all who were involved!
This study describes the characteristics that are associated with depression in residents and also examines resident perception of available mental health support.
Residents and their program directors from each of 10 specialties across all academic training institutions in Ohio were electronically surveyed over a 2-month period. Generalized logistic regression was used to test for association between risk factors and depression and, among depressed residents, with suicidal thoughts.
Using the PHQ-9, 19% of residents met criteria for at least moderate depression and 31.1% of depressed residents had suicidal thoughts. Over 70% of depressed residents were not receiving treatment, including 70% of depressed residents with suicidal thoughts. Residents who were unaware of wellness programming or did not believe their program director would be supportive of a depressed resident were significantly more likely to be depressed. Residents who believed depression treatment would negatively impact medical licensure were significantly more likely to be depressed. Male program directors and those in their position for fewer than 5 years were significantly more likely to have depressed residents in their program.
A substantial proportion of depressed residents have suicidal thoughts, and most are not receiving treatment. Depressed residents may perceive the availability of support from their program director differently than their non-depressed colleagues, and may perceive greater risk to medical licensure if they seek treatment.