Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the depression levels of dental students in Yeditepe University and to examine the effect of demographic factors on depression levels.
Methods: All students enrolled in Yeditepe University Faculty of Dentistry in 2015-2016 educational period were included in the study. A Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale consists of 20 items for depression level measurement was used. Only age and gender were asked in order to protect the confidentiality, and students filled out the form voluntarily. In the scale, each item was evaluated according to the 4-point Likert-type scale; never or rarely, sometimes, often, always; and depression scores were recorded. One-way ANOVA with Tukey HSD test were used to analyse the data. Demographic factors were analysed using Chi-square test.
Results: The response rate was 87.4%. There were 235 students, 72 (30.6%) were male and 163 (69.4%) were female, with the mean age of 21.58 ± 2.02 years. Of the participants, 30.2% were mildly, 13.2% were moderately, and 5.1% were severely depressed. Mean depression scores for females (51.77 ± 10.14) were significantly higher than males (47.99 ± 9.95) (p<0.05). Mean depression scores for the first-year students were significantly lower (47.47 ± 8.67) than third-year (54.24 ± 11.39) and fourth-year students (52.74 ± 11.23) (p<0.05).
Conclusions: It can be concluded that 18.3% of dental students showed symptoms of moderate or severe depression. These findings suggest that a need exists for mental healthcare services for dental students.