Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 12–18 | Cite as

Complications Associated With Surveying Medical Student Depression

The Importance of Anonymity
  • Ruth E. Levine
  • Carmen Radecki Breitkopf
  • Frederick S. Sierles
  • Gwendie Camp
Original Article


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.


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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth E. Levine
    • 1
  • Carmen Radecki Breitkopf
    • 1
  • Frederick S. Sierles
    • 2
  • Gwendie Camp
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesThe University of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA
  2. 2.FUHS/The Chicago Medical SchoolChicagoUSA

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