Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Depression symptoms increase during medical internship

13.04.2010
Study identifies long work hours, medical errors, genetic variation among implicated factors

The percentage of clinicians who meet criteria for depression appears to increase significantly during medical internship, according to a report posted online that will appear in the June print issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Increased work hours, medical errors, genetic predisposition and receiving a medical education in the United States are among factors that appear to be associated with depressive symptoms among medical interns.

"We know that internship is a time of high stress," says Srijan Sen, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School. "While doing my internship, it was clear to me that even people who seemed to be well adjusted during our initial orientation started to struggle as the internship progressed; never smiling, and they were having difficulty with sleep and losing or gaining a lot of weight."

Although some studies have assessed rates of depression among medical interns and found them higher than in the general population, few have explored the specific factors responsible.

To better understand the reasons behind what Sen observed during his internship at Yale University, he and fellow intern at the time, Constance Guille, M.D., and colleagues studied 740 interns entering residency programs in 13 U.S. hospitals in 2007 or 2008.

Study participants completed a secure online survey to assess their symptoms of depression, along with personal and medical education factors and several psychological measures. After three, six, nine and 12 months, the interns completed follow-up surveys regarding depressive symptoms, internship variables (such as work hours and perceived medical errors) and other life stresses. A subgroup of participants (63 percent) provided saliva samples for genetic analysis.

Average depression scores increased during internship; on a scale of zero to 27, where scores of 10 or greater suggested depression, the average score increased from 2.4 before internship to an average of 6.4 during internship. In addition, the proportion of participants who met criteria for depression increased from 3.9 percent before internship to an average of 25.7 percent during internship.

A series of factors measured prior to internship: female sex, U.S. medical education, difficult early family environment and history of major depression and during internship: increased work hours, perceived medical errors and stressful life events, were associated with a greater increase in depressive symptoms during internship, according to the study. A number of factors, such as medical specialty and age, were not associated with the development of depression.

In addition to internship factors, researchers also assessed the genetic make-up of subjects at a well-studied variant within the serotonin transporter gene called 5HTTLPR. While researchers found no difference in depression among participants in the low-stress period before internship, subjects with the less functional version of the serotonin transporter gene reported a significantly greater increase in depressive symptoms during internship.

This work adds to growing body of studies designed to identify genetic factors that predispose individuals to developing depression under stress.

"With effective interventions currently available to help prevent depression, the predictive factors identified in this study could allow at-risk interns to take steps before they start to have symptoms to lower their chances of developing depression," Sen says. "This information may also be valuable to medical residency program directors as they seek to make their programs healthier, both for their medical trainees and the patients that they treat."

Co-authors: Henry R. Krantzler, M.D.,, John H. Krystal, M.D., Heather Speller, M.D., Grace Chan, Ph.D., Joel Gelernter, M.D., and Constance Guille, M.D.

Reference: Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010;67[6]:(doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2010.41).

Funding: This work was supported by a Donaghue Foundation Clinical and Community Grant, an American Psychiatric Association Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant, a Veterans Administration Research Enhancement Award Program award and an American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Young Investigator Grant. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

Jessica Soulliere | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umich.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>