Depressive Disorders in University Nurse Students in Sousse

Nakhli J, Braham A, Mtiraoui a and Ben Nasr S

Published on: 2019-02-28


Aim: Depression represents a public health problem because of its frequency and its impact. It is highest in the age group between 20 and 35 years and especially among students. However, it remains little studied in Tunisia and although these studies exist, they have not been conducted with standardized and reliable tools for screening of major depressive and dysthymic disorders. The aim of our study was to evaluate the frequency of major depressive and dysthymic disorders (according to DSM-IV) and to investigate factors associated with these disorders.

Materials and Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 125 students in private higher nurse institute in Sousse (Tunisia) during a period of two months. We administered to them an anonymous questionnaire exploring the socio-demographic and clinical characteristics and a standardized interview: Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview.

Results: The mean age of our sample was 22.6 ± 2.1 years, females represented 71.2% and the majority of our subjects were single. The life time frequency of major depressive disorder was 24.8% and 12% at the time of the study. We noted that only married subjects had more history of major depressive disorder (p = 0.004). For the dysthymic disorder, we found that it was 17.6% in life time and 3.2% in current. This disorder was associated with more family and personal history of organic pathology (p = 0.004 and 0.009).

Conclusions: Given the high prevalence of major depressive and dysthymic disorders among students, it seems important to establish a strategy for prevention and adequate care for this young population. These strategies require collaboration between stakeholders and the establishment of counseling centers for students.