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Revista Brasileira de Educação Médica

versão impressa ISSN 0100-5502versão On-line ISSN 1981-5271


COSTA, Deyvison Soares da et al. Symptoms of Depression, Anxiety and Stress in Medical Students and Institutional Coping Strategies. Rev. bras. educ. med. [online]. 2020, vol.44, n.1, e040.  Epub 30-Mar-2020. ISSN 1981-5271.


The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of stress, depression and anxiety symptoms among medical students of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, associating them with other factors.


This is a quantitative cross-sectional epidemiological study. Medical students from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte participated in this study, distributed equally among the different periods of the course. 288 questionnaires were delivered; however, 279 were validated, while the others were not answered correctly. This study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of UFRN (Opinion n. 2,009,026) and all volunteers signed the free and informed consent (FIC) form, after being informed about the research objectives. The following instruments were used to collect the data: (1) Identification card for the socio-demographic data, (2) Inventory of Stress Symptoms for Adults of Lipp (ISSL), (3) Beck Depression Inventory - BDI, (4) Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). For the analysis of the results, descriptive analyzes were performed based on the mean, standard deviation and frequency of the collected data. Inferential analysis was performed to verify the association between outcome variables and student attributes.


Of the interviewed students, it was observed that 66.3% had stress symptoms and the majority was in the resistance phase (58.4%) with a predominance of psychological symptoms (42.3%). In relation to depressive symptomatology, 28% of the students had symptoms, with 51.3% showing signs of mild to moderate depression, 35.9% signs of moderate depression and 12.8% showing signs of severe depression. Regarding the anxious symptomatology, 66.3% of the students showed minimal signs of anxiety and 33.7% showed signs of mild, moderate or severe anxiety. Of the latter, 21.9% had signs of mild anxiety, 10.8% signs of moderate anxiety and 1% signs of severe anxiety.


In view of this, it is believed that higher education institutions should commit themselves to the integral development of their students, offering institutional strategies for students to cope with this reality.

Palavras-chave : Medical Education; Mental Health; Psychological Stress; Anxiety; Depression.

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