Stress and depression in university health students

Keywords: Stress, Psychological; Depressive Disorder; Students, Health Sciences; Universities.


Objective: to analyze the association between stress and depression in university health students. Methods: cross-sectional study conducted with 792 university health students. The research instrument consisted of characterization of the students, Beck Depression Inventory version II and the Perceived Stress Scale. Absolute and relative frequency analysis, mean, standard deviation, median, interquartile range, and analytical statistics were used. Results: an association between depression and stress was observed (p<0.001) as well as a strong correlation between them (r=0.731; p<0.001). In high level of stress 9.5% of the students were found and in moderate to severe intensity of common symptoms of depression, 23.6% of them. Conclusion: a difference was noticed in the averages between the levels of depression and stress, in that the higher the level of depression, the higher the average stress. Contributions to practice: stress is related to depression in university health students, who, after graduation, may enter the labor market already sick, which brings implications for interpersonal relationships, worker health and patient safety. This enables higher education institutions to reflect on the organization of practices and intervention policies for the reduction of stress and depression among students.


Bresolin JZ, Dalmolin GL, Vasconcellos SJL, Barlem ELD, Andolhe R, Magnago TSBS. Depressive symptoms among healthcare undergraduate students. Rev Latino-Am Enfermagem. 2020; 28:e3239. doi:

Ren L, Wang Y, Wu L, Wei Z, Cui L, Wei X, et al. Network structure of depression and anxiety symptoms in Chinese female nursing students. BMC Psychiatry. 2021;279. doi:

Boumosleh JM, Jaalouk D. Depression, anxiety, and smartphone addiction in university students - a cross sectional study. PLoS One. 2017; 12(8):e0182239. doi:

Melaku L, Bulcha G, Worku D. The prevalence and severity of depression, anxiety, and stress among medical undergraduate students of Arsi University and their association with substance use, Southeast Ethiopia. Educ Res Int. 2021;2021:12. doi:

Dagnew B, Dagne H, Andualem Z. Depression and Its determinant factors among university of Gondar medical and health science students, Northwest Ethiopia: institution-based cross-sectional study. Neuropsychiatric Dis Treat. 2020;16:839-45. doi:

Melo RCDP, Queirós PJ, Tanaka LH, Costa PJ, Bogalho CID, Oliveira PIDF. Dificuldades dos estudantes do curso de licenciatura de enfermagem no ensino clínico: percepção das principais causas. Rev Enf Ref. 2017;15:55-63. doi:

Rizzolo D, Massey S. Fluctuations in stress over time during the first year of health science programs. J Allied Health Summer. 2020;49(2):120-4. doi:

Nahas ARMF, Elkalmi RM, Al-Shami AM, Elsayed TM. Prevalence of depression among health sciences students: findings from a public university in Malaysia. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2019;11(2):170-5. doi:

Bedaso A, Duko B, Yeneabat T. Predictors of mental distress among undergraduate health science students of Hawassa University, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Hawassa, SNNPR, Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study. Ann Gen Psychiatr. 2020;19:6. doi:

Feltrin F, Cabral LPA, Bordin D, Fadel CB. Impacto do estresse na qualidade de vida e condutas de saúde de residentes multiprofissionais. Rev Gestão Sistemas Saúde. 2019;8(3):385-94. doi:

Hoying J, Melnyk BM, Hutson E, Tan A. Prevalence and correlates of depression, anxiety, stress, healthy beliefs, and lifestyle behaviors in first-year graduate health sciences students. Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2020;17(1):49-59. doi:

Silva FCT, Neto MLR. Psychiatric symptomatology associated with depression, anxiety, distress, and insomnia in health professionals working in patients affected by COVID19: A systematic review with meta-analysis. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2021;104:110057. doi:

Chen JY, Chin W, Tiwari A, Wong J, Wong ICK, Worsley A, et al. Validation of the perceived stress scale (PSS-10) in medical and health sciences students in Hong Kong. TAPS, 2021;6(2):31-7. doi:

Yang X, Stewart SM. The Beck Depression Inventory-II as a screening tool of depression in the Chinese adolescent population in Hong Kong: a validation study using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview as the gold standard. Asian J Psychiatr. 2020;52:102125. doi:

Dias JCR, Silva WR, Maroco J, Campos JADB. Escala de Estresse Percebido aplicada a estudantes universitários: estudo de validação. Psychol Community Health [Internet]. 2015 [cited Jan 13, 2022];4(1):1-13. Available from:

Anunciação L, Caregnato M, Silva FSC. Aspectos psicométricos do Inventário Beck de Depressão-II e do Beck Atenção Primária em usuários do Facebook. J Bras Psiquiatr. 2019;68(2):83-91. doi:

Crespo AA. Estatística (Série em foco). São Paulo: Saraiva; 2019.

Man DJ, Buffel V, Velde SV, Bracke P, Hal GFV, Wouters E. Disentangling depression in Belgian higher education students amidst the first COVID-19 lockdown (April-May 2020). Arch Public Health. 2021;79(3). doi:

Dalky HF, Gharaibeh A. Depression, anxiety, and stress among college studentsin Jordan and their need for mental health services. Nurs Forum. 2019;54(2):205-12. doi:

Diaz-Godiño J, Fernández-Henriquez L, Peña-Pastor F, Alfaro-Flores P, Manrique-Borjas G, Mayta-Tovalino F. Lifestyles, depression, anxiety, and stress as risk factors in nursing apprentices: a logistic regression analysis of 1193 students in Lima, Peru. J Environ Public Health. 2019;7. doi:

How to Cite
Bresolin, J. Z., Dalmolin, G. de L., Vasconcellos, S. J. L., Andolhe, R., Morais, B. X., & Lanes, T. C. (2022). Stress and depression in university health students. Rev Rene, 23, e71879.
Research Article