Prevalence, severity, causes and drugs used for depression, stress and anxiety among junior doctors in a tertiary care teaching hospital in South India

Prasanand Sasidharan, Bhanu P. Kolasani, Divyashanthi C. M.


Background: Due to various reasons, junior doctors experience high level of stress in their workplace. However, very few studies have been done to analyze the stress levels and pertinent causative factors among junior doctors in India. So the present study was done to investigate the prevalence, severity and causes of depression, stress and anxiety among junior doctors along with the drugs used to mitigate them.

Methods: A cross sectional, questionnaire based study was conducted on a total of 114 junior doctors who include 80 interns and 34 post graduates belonging to  2013-14 batch, utilizing the 21-item depression, anxiety and stress scale (DASS 21). A personal interview was also conducted to enquire into the causes responsible for the stress and the medications employed by them to overcome it.

Results: Among the interns, the mean depression score was 5.64±3.85, mean anxiety score was 6.69±3.86 and mean stress score was 7.33±3.22. Among the post graduates, the mean depression score was 4.73±2.15, mean anxiety score was 5.18±3.19 and mean stress score was 7.82±2.68. The percentage of junior doctors who had severe or extremely severe scores of depression was 11.40%, anxiety was 40.35% and stress was 9.65%. Alcohol was the most commonly used psychotropic drug (60.87%). Frequent calls during night duties and late working hours were the leading causes for stress among junior doctors.

Conclusions: Overall higher stress was observed among post graduates compared to interns and females compared to males. Anxiety was more severe compared to depression and stress among junior doctors. Reducing working hours and increasing workplace flexibility are some measures to reduce stress among the junior doctors.


Stress, Junior doctors, DASS 21, Alcohol

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