Prevalence of depression and low self-esteem among medical students in the University of Cape Coast, Ghana
Studies on medical students in different parts of the world have confirmed that medical training is rigorous and predisposes students to a range of negative psychological reactions. This study was conducted using Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, to investigate the prevalence of depression and low self-esteem among 180 University of Cape Coast School of Medical Sciences students across six levels of study. The study also examined causes of depression, the relationship between depression and self-esteem and the coping strategies employed by the respondents. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the collected data. Majority of the respondents expressed normal level of depression. A medium negative correlation was found between depression and self-esteem. The major cause of depression was stress related to the respondents’ academic work and emotion-focused forms of coping were mostly adopted. Stronger collaboration between the University authority and the Counselling Centre, special programmes to assist medical students in coping with stress and strategic changes in the curriculum to make it more student-friendly were recommended.
Keywords: Prevalence, depression, self-esteem, medical students, Ghana