Depression, its correlates and quality of life of undergraduate medical students in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand state, India




Mental health, Depression, Medical education, MBBS students, Smartphone addiction


Background: Medical students are future health care providers and experience a lot of stress during their training years. They are more likely to suffer depressive disorders than the general population and have a poorer quality of life. Objectives: To determine the prevalence of depressive disorder, its correlates and quality of life of medical students studying at a medical college in North India. Methods and material: It was a cross sectional study which included all the students enrolled at the study medical college. Data was collected using pre-validated questionnaires namely - 20 item ‘Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D)’, WHO Quality of life (QoL) – BREF questionnaire and ‘Smartphone Addition Scale - Short version’ (SAS-SV) questionnaire to assess for depression, quality of life and smartphone addiction respectively which was distributed in the classroom to be filled. Multivariate logistic regression was employed to ascertain association between depression and the other variables. Results: The study had an effective response rate of 79%. Using a score of 16 or above as cut-off on CES-D scale145 study participants (36.7%) were found to be depressed. Participants who negatively compared themselves with their peers/friends and also those who were addicted to smartphone were significantly more likely to be depressed [1.85(1.12-3.05) and 1.96 (1.29-2.97) respectively]. We report a statistically significant negative relationship between physical domain score [0.97(0.95-0.99)], psychological domain score [0.95(0.93-0.97)] and social relationship domain score [0.97(0.95-0.99)] on BREF Quality of life questionnaire and the presence of depression among the study participants. Conclusion: The prevalence of depression among medical students was high and those with depression have significantly poor quality of life.


Download data is not yet available.


Gupta S, Choudhury S, Das M, Mondol A, Pradhan R. Factors causing stress among students of a medical college in Kolkata, India. Educ Health (Abingdon). 2015;28(1):92?95. doi:10.4103/1357-6283.161924.

Rebello CR, Kallingappa PB, Hegde PG. Assessment of perceived stress and association with sleep quality and attributed stressors among 1st-year medical students: A cross-sectional study from Karwar, Karnataka, India. Ci Ji Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2018;30(4):221?226. doi:10.4103/tcmj.tcmj_85_17.

Pagnin D, de Queiroz V. Comparison of quality of life between medical students and young general populations. Educ Health (Abingdon). 2015;28(3):209-12. doi: 10.4103/1357-6283.178599. PMID: 26996647

Suwalska J, Suwalska A, Szczygie? M, ?ojko D. Medical students and stigma of depression. Part 2. Self-stigma. Studencimedycyny a stygmatyzacja z powodudepresji. Cz??? II. Autostygmatyzacja. Psychiatr Pol. 2017;51(3):503?513. doi:10.12740/PP/OnlineFirst/67373.

UG Curriculum | NMC [Internet]. (Accessed on June 25, 2021)

Radloff, L. S. (1977). The CES-D Scale: A Self-Report Depression Scale for Research in the General Population. Applied Psychological Measurement, 1(3), 385–401.

WHOQOL - Measuring Quality of Life| The World Health Organization. (Accessed on June 25, 2021)

Kwon, M., Kim, D. J., Cho, H., & Yang, S. (2013). The smartphone addiction scale: development and validation of a short version for adolescents. PloS one, 8(12), e83558.

National Mental Health Survey of India, 2015-2016 Prevalence, Patterns and Outcomes, Supported by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, and Implemented by National institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) Bengaluru: In Collaboration with Partner Institutions; 2015-2016. Available form (Accessed on June 25, 2021)

Mohammed S, Tharayil H, Gopakumar S, George C. Pattern and Correlates of Depression among Medical Students: An 18.Month Follow-Up Study. Indian J Psychol Med. 2020;42(2):116-121. doi: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_28_19. PMID: 32346251; PMCID: PMC7173653.

Iqbal S, Gupta S, Venkatarao E. Stress, anxiety and depression among medical undergraduate students and their socio-demographic correlates. Indian J Med Res. 2015;141(3):354-7. doi: 10.4103/0971-5916.156571. PMID: 25963497; PMCID: PMC4442334.

Shrestha N, Shrestha N, Khanal S, Dahal S, Lama R, Simkhada P, Pradhan SN. Prevalence of Depression among Medical Students of a Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital. JNMA J Nepal Med Assoc. 2019;57(220):403-407.

Kumar B, Shah MAA, Kumari R, Kumar A, Kumar J, Tahir A. Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Among Final-year Medical Students. Cureus. 2019;11(3):e4257. doi: 10.7759/cureus.4257. PMID: 31139516; PMCID: PMC6519980.

Mao Y, Zhang N, Liu J, Zhu B, He R, Wang X. A systematic review of depression and anxiety in medical students in China. BMC Med Educ. 2019;19(1):327. doi: 10.1186/s12909-019-1744-2. PMID: 31477124; PMCID: PMC6721355.

Cuttilan AN, Sayampanathan AA, Ho RC. Mental health issues amongst medical students in Asia: a systematic review [2000-2015]. Ann Transl Med. 2016;4(4):72. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2305-5839.2016.02.07. PMID: 27004219; PMCID: PMC4779785.

Hope V, Henderson M. Medical student depression, anxiety and distress outside North America: a systematic review. Med Educ. 2014;48(10):963?979. doi:10.1111/medu.12512.

Rotenstein LS, Ramos MA, Torre M, Segal JB, Peluso MJ, Guille C et al. Prevalence of Depression, Depressive Symptoms, and Suicidal Ideation Among Medical Students: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. JAMA. 2016;316(21):2214–2236. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.17324.

Sohn, S.Y., Rees, P., Wildridge, B. et al. Prevalence of problematic smartphone usage and associated mental health outcomes amongst children and young people: a systematic review, meta-analysis and GRADE of the evidence. BMC Psychiatry 19, 356 (2019).

Alavi SS, Ghanizadeh M, Farahani M, Jannatifard F, EsmailiAlamuti S, Mohammadi MR. Addictive Use of Smartphones and Mental Disorders in University Students. Iran J Psychiatry. 2020;15(2):96-104. PMID: 32426005; PMCID: PMC7215249.

De-Sola Gutiérrez J, Rodríguez de Fonseca F, Rubio G. Cell-Phone Addiction: A Review. Front Psychiatry. 2016;7:175. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2016.00175. PMID: 27822187; PMCID: PMC5076301.

Pacheco JP, Giacomin HT, Tam WW, Ribeiro TB, Arab C, Bezerra IM, Pinasco GC. Mental health problems among medical students in Brazil: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Braz J Psychiatry. 2017;39(4):369-378. doi: 10.1590/1516-4446-2017-2223. Epub 2017 Aug 31. PMID: 28876408; PMCID: PMC7111407.

Borst JM, Frings-Dresen MH, Sluiter JK. Prevalence and incidence of mental health problems among Dutch medical students and the study-related and personal risk factors: a longitudinal study. Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2016;28(4):349?355.doi:10.1515/ijamh-2015-0021.

Moutinho ILD, Lucchetti ALG, Ezequiel ODS, Lucchetti G. Mental health and quality of life of Brazilian medical students: Incidence, prevalence, and associated factors within two years of follow-up. Psychiatry Res. 2019;274:306?312.doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2019.02.041.

Gan GG, Yuen Ling H. Anxiety, depression and quality of life of medical students in Malaysia. Med J Malaysia. 2019 Feb;74(1):57-61. PMID: 30846664.

Silva V, Costa P, Pereira I, Faria R, Salgueira AP, Costa MJ, et al. Depression in medical students: insights from a longitudinal study. BMC Med Educ. 2017;17(1):184. Published 2017 Oct 10. doi:10.1186/s12909-017-1006-0.

Bermudez MB, Costanzi M, Macedo MJA, et al. Improved quality of life and reduced depressive symptoms in medical students after a single-session intervention. Braz J Psychiatry. 2020;42(2):145?152. doi:10.1590/1516-4446-2019-0526.

NMC. Competency Based Assessment Module for Undergraduate Medical Education. Accessedon June 25, 2021.

(No Title)Accessed Jun 21,2020.

Thiemann P, Brimicombe J, Benson J, Quince T. When investigating depression and anxiety in undergraduate medical students timing of assessment is an important factor - a multicentre cross-sectional study. BMC Med Educ. 2020;20(1):125. doi:10.1186/s12909-020-02029-0.




How to Cite

Solanki HK, Awasthi S, Kaur A, Pamei G. Depression, its correlates and quality of life of undergraduate medical students in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand state, India. Indian J Community Health [Internet]. 2021 Jun. 30 [cited 2024 Jun. 13];33(2):357-63. Available from:



Original Article

Most read articles by the same author(s)