Evaluation of mental health and occupational stress in Mexican medical residents

Sofía Vidal de la Fuente, Janet Real Ramírez, Jesús Abrahán Ruíz Rosas, Daniela Morera González

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17711/SM.0185-3325.2020.029


Introduction. Since mental health disorders are an emerging problem in medical residents, its detection and attention must be a priority.

Objetive. To compare the frequency of psychopathology in residents according to sociodemographic and clinical characteristics.

Method. We conducted a cross-sectional study evaluating the presence of psychopathology, as well as sociodemographic and clinical characteristics in 644 residents through online questionnaires.

Results. Among participants, 55.7% reported a psychiatric disorder at some point and 29.2% a current one; only 41.5% were under treatment. Additionally, 8.1% had attempted suicide, of which 32.4% attempted it during residency. We found that 6.5% of women and 3.3% of men presented “risk of psychopathology,” with a higher percentage of men presenting “severe psychopathology.” Individuals with “risk of psychopathology” presented significantly higher scores on all of the questionnaires, compared to those with “absence of psychopathology.”

Discussion and conclusion. Residents with occupational stress also presented higher risks of psychopathology, suicide, and substance use. Being under psychiatric treatment significantly improved the scores on the different scales. Because residency is a period that may increase the probability of suffering psychopathology, interventions should be aimed at reducing occupational stress and bringing specialized care.


Keywords: Medical residency; psychopathology; occupational stress; substance use

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