Prevalence and extent of awareness of depression in youth
Depression is a common mental disorder that affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Increasing awareness about depression in youth can help in addressing consequences of the disorder that may extend to adulthood, causing impairment of both physical and mental health and further barring opportunities to lead fulfilling lives. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and associated socio-demographic factors of depression among youth, and to determine the efficacy of an educational intervention in increasing awareness about depression. Pre-university and graduate students between 15 to 24 years of age were included in the study. Data was collected using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, Adolescent Depression Knowledge Questionnaire, and a self-designed proforma of socio-demographic factors. An educational intervention, in the form of a video, was provided to the subjects. A post-intervention questionnaire was administered after a period of 4-6 weeks. Analysis and interpretation of data were completed using Chi-square test and SPSS v22 software. The prevalence of depression in youth was found to be 29.6% using a PHQ-9 cut-off score of 10. Annual household income was found to have a statistically significant association with the prevalence of depression (*P-value: 0.036). The students’ knowledge about depression was notably improved as observed from answers of the ADKQ, before and after the educational intervention. Depression is prevalent among Indian students, and this highlights the need for screening of students and educational interventions. Increasing students’ awareness and knowledge about depression has the potential to lower stigma and increase help-seeking behaviour.
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