Original Article

Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 12-18

Complications Associated With Surveying Medical Student Depression

The Importance of Anonymity
  • Ruth E. LevineAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The University of Texas Medical Branch Email author 
  • , Carmen Radecki BreitkopfAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The University of Texas Medical Branch
  • , Frederick S. SierlesAffiliated withFUHS/The Chicago Medical School
  • , Gwendie CampAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The University of Texas Medical Branch

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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.