Depression is a typical mental illness among students, particularly medical students, because of their extremely competitive learning environment. Depression negatively affect the cognitive abilities and consequently the academic performance of students later on their performance as a physician. This study aims to evaluate the association of depression with academic performance among final-year MBBS student of Rawalpindi Medical University. This may make available new opportunity to bring enhancement in academic performance of students. This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted on final-year MBBS students of Rawalpindi Medical University in November 2019. Data was collected through Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale Revised-10 (CESD-R-10) and self-structured questionnaire which was designed to get information regarding demographic details and marks in last professional examination. Students suffering from any diagnosed physical and mental illness were excluded. Out of 335 students initially selected for study, 307 returned duly filled questionnaires so final sample size was 307. Data analysis was carried out using SPSS v.25.0. Various statistical tests including Independent sample t-test, chi-square test and Pearson’s correlation, and linear regression were applied to evaluate the study variables. Statistically significant and strong negative association was observed between depression and academic performance of students (p = 0.000 for independent sample t-test). For association’s direction and strength between depression and academic performance, Pearson’s correlation coefficient was -0.713 (p= 0.000). Difference in depression score between male and female students (p=0.015) and between boarders and non-boarders (p=0.000) was significant. Similarly, the difference of marks in last professional examination between boarders and non-boarders (p=0.000) was significant, however it was insignificant between male and female students (p=0.135). The simple linear regression model was valid with p-value of 0.000 for F test. Unstandardized regression Coefficient (B) was -10.74. R² was 0.51 (51%). Our study shows an overall high prevalence of depression among final year MBBS medical students, especially among boarders and female students. Significant and strong negative association between depression and academic performance is found, which means that increase in depression decreases the academic performance of students and vice versa. So, by applying suitable interventions for alleviation of depression we can improve academic performance of students.
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