, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 12-18

Complications Associated With Surveying Medical Student Depression

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Abstract

Objective: To evaluate students’ attitudes and concerns regarding potential repercussions of completing the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Methods: A survey based on focus group data was developed and distributed. Results: One hundred and ninety-one of 400 surveys (48%) were returned. Of 160 students who remembered completing the BDI, 31 (19%) admitted to concerns about the research, and nearly 10% admitted to recording dishonest answers. Conclusions: These findings emphasize the importance of conducting anonymous assessments of medical students, particularly when assessing sensitive psychological states.

The authors thank Anne Frye, Ph.D., Steven Lieberman, M.D., and James Hokanson, Ph.D., for their assistance with this research and Paula Levine for her assistance in preparation of the manuscript. This research was presented during a poster session at the 27th annual meeting of the Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry, Whistler, BC, June 21–23, 2001.