Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Public Health, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, Glasgow, UK

2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sree Sai Dental College and Research Institute, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh, India

3 Department of Mental Health Nursing, KSR College of Nursing, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India


BACKGROUND: The challenges of dental education place students at high risk of stress. Because
dental education is a highly demanding and challenging course, placing heavy demands on the
mental resources of the students, making them vulnerable to high levels of stress, this study aimed to
determine the prevalence of depression, suicidal ideation, and suicidal behaviors in dental students.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A descriptive cross‑sectional study was done on a convenience
sample of 388 dental students in a teaching dental institution. Data were collected using standard,
prevalidated, self‑administered questionnaires (Patient Health Questionnaire‑9 and Suicidal
Behaviours Questionnaire‑Revised [SBQ‑R]). Analysis was done using SPSS version 20. Descriptive
statistics, Chi‑square test, and logistic regression were performed.
RESULTS: At least half of the students were in major depression with different levels of severity.
When students from different years were analyzed, majority from each year fell under II and III
categories (P < 0.001). Most of the students reported that they do not have any suicidal ideation
or behavior (SBQ‑R). Nearly 16% of the students either presented the threat of suicidal attempt
or likelihood of suicidal behavior in future. Almost 13% of the dental students thought of killing
themselves in the past year for at least two times. Around 16% of them expressed to someone about
their thought of committing suicide.
CONCLUSION: Even though depression and suicidal tendencies were not prominent in dental
students, there is a need to shed light on those who responded positively and take necessary reforms
to relieve academic stress.


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