Depression Screening Scores in Osteopathic Medical Students

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Purpose: As burnout of health-care workers continues to rise, checking the mental health of future health-care providers may provide insight into the future of burnout trends. Our study seeks to determine the relationship between demographic variables and depressive symptoms experienced while in medical school.

Methods: Scores for Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9) and interference of daily activities were collected by Qualtrics during the first semester of the 22-23 academic school year for first through fourth-year medical school students. Additionally, the survey included demographic information including: age, relationship status, presence of dependents at home, race/ethnicity, Native American and/or tribal affiliation, relationship status, presence of dependents at home, residency status, cohort year, pell grant eligibility, cohort year, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex assigned at birth, sexual orientation, transgender identification, history of depression diagnosis, treatment history for depression. Data were entered into SPSS for analysis. PHQ-9 scores were distinguished by total score with categories of minimal depression, mild depression, moderate depression, moderately severe depression, and severe depression. Statistical analysis included standard deviations, means, and frequencies. A Kruskal-Wallis analysis was conducted for total score by demographic variables. A one-way ANOVA was conducted for total score by year.

Results: One hundred and fifty-three medical students’ (MS-1=36, MS-2=44, MS-3=36, MS-4=37) with a mean age of 26.02 (SD=3.77) participated with 26.1% reporting previous history of a depressive disorder diagnosis. Of the participants, 57 were assigned male at birth, and 96 were assigned female at birth. 58 had a gender identity of male, 94 female, and 1 third gender/non-binary. 50.7% of participants' PHQ-9 survey results indicated mild, moderately, or severely depressed. Statistical significance (p
Conclusion: Approximately fifty percent of medical students displayed mild to moderately severe depression symptoms. The prevalence of depression in medical students points to potential problems in the future physician workforce. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the healthcare provider shortage has only widened. Further support of mental health and seeking changes to curriculum could decrease the depressive symptoms in osteopathic medical students and provide strategies for long-term mental wellbeing to keep physicians in the workforce longer.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 17 Feb 2023
EventOklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Week 2023 - Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, 1111 W. 17th street, Tulsa, United States
Duration: 13 Feb 202317 Feb 2023


ConferenceOklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Week 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • depression
  • students
  • PHQ-9


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