Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

Prevalence of depressive symptoms and its related factors among students at Tra Vinh University, Vietnam in 2018

1 Department of Public Health, Tra Vinh University, Tra Vinh City, Vietnam
2 Department of Public Health, Binh Dinh Medical College, Quy Nhon City, Vietnam

Objective: The study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of depressive symptoms and its related factors among students at Tra Vinh University, Vietnam. Methods: The instrument used was a questionnaire of socioeconomic-demographic characteristics, educational characteristics, and the self-reported depression scale collected from the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D) originally published by Radloff in 1977. Scores of 16–21 were considered as mild to moderate symptoms of depression, and scores above 21 were considered as symptoms of major depression. The Chi-square test was performed to compare prevalences. Results: 405 students (with 136 males and 269 females) aged 19 to 27 (the average age was 20.2) were interviewed. The mean score for the CES-D was 15.98, and the overall prevalence of depressive symptoms was 52.3%, including the mild to moderate symptoms of depression (24.2%) and the major depression (20.7%). The prevalence occupied 72.2% among students in poor and near-poor households (aOR = 3.06, 95% CI = 1.38–6.76, p = 0.006). The prevalence also was higher among those who had been drinking alcohol (59.7% with aOR = 2.02, 95% CI = 1.15–3.53, p = 0.014).). Depressive symptoms among first-year students were 39.9%, and 2nd-year students were 42.5% and tended to increase to 4th-year students (47.1%) with the p-value of 0.019. Conclusion: The overall prevalence of depression is relatively high among university students at Tra Vinh University, Vietnam. The prevalencesignificantly associates with characteristics such as household economics, behaviours and number of years studying at university. These results suggest that more attention should be directed to activities to reduce the prevalence of depressive symptoms, especially among students in the final years.
  Article Metrics

Keywords depression; university students; Tra Vinh; Vietnam

Citation: Nguyen Thi Hong Tuyen, Truong Quang Dat, Huynh Thi Hong Nhung. Prevalence of depressive symptoms and its related factors among students at Tra Vinh University, Vietnam in 2018. AIMS Public Health , 2019, 6(3): 307-319. doi: 10.3934/publichealth.2019.3.307


  • 1.World Health Organization (2015) Mental health. Available from: https://www.who.int/mental_health/management/depression/en/.
  • 2.Moussavi S, Chatterji S, Verdes E, et al. (2007) Depression, chronic diseases, and decrements in health: Results from the world health surveys. Lancet 370: 851–858.    
  • 3.World Health Organization (2018) Depression. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression.
  • 4.World Health Organization (2017) Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva: World Health Organization; License: CC BY-NC-SA.
  • 5.Ibrahim AK, Kelly SJ, Adams CE, et al. (2013) A systematic review of studies of depression prevalence in university students. J Psychiatr Res 47: 391–400.    
  • 6.Tran QM, Dunne MP, Ngoc HL (2013) Well-being, depression and suicidal ideation among medical students throughout Vietnam. Vietnam J Med Pharm 6: 23–30.
  • 7.Tran TN, Ha TH, Trinh TT, et al. (2018) Personality and depression among second-year medical students at Hanoi medical university in the academic year 2016–2017. J Med Res Vietnam 113: 158–165.
  • 8.Trang TK (2012) Stress, anxiety and depression among medical students. City Ho Chi Minh J Med 16: 355–361.
  • 9.Do DQ, Tasanapradit P (2007) Depression and stress among the first-year medical students in the Unversity of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hochiminh city, Vietnam. J Health Res 22 (suppl): 1–4.
  • 10.Tra Vinh University (2019) Available from: https://www.tvu.edu.vn/.
  • 11.Radloff LS (1997) The CES‑D scale: A self‑report depression scale for research in the general population. Appl Psychol Meas 1: 385–401.
  • 12.Nguyen TTT, Nguyen NTM, Pham MV, et al. (2018) The four-domain structure model of a depression scale for medical students: A cross-sectional study in Haiphong, Vietnam. PLoS ONE 13: e0194550.    
  • 13.Irish Aid, Ethnic Committee and UNDP (2016) Ethnic minorities and sustainable development goals: Who will be left behind? Available from: https://www.undp.org/content/dam/vietnam/docs/Publications/Final.
  • 14.National Database of Legal Documents (2019) Available from: http://vbpl.vn/bolaodong/Pages/vbpq-toanvan.aspx?ItemID=92948.
  • 15.Ranganathan P, Pramesh CS, Aggarwal R (2017) Common pitfalls in statistical analysis: Logistic regression. Perspect Clin Res 8: 148–151.
  • 16.Lovibond SH, Lovibond PF (1995) Manual for the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales, (2nd. Ed.), Sydney: Psychology Foundation.
  • 17.Ian McDowell (2006) Measuring health: a guide to rating scales and questionnaires, (3rd. Ed.) Published by Oxford University Press, Inc. 198 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016.
  • 18.de Oliva Costa EF, Santana YS, de Abreu Santos ATR, et al. (2012) Depressive symptoms among medical intern students in a Brazilian public university. Rev Assoc Med Bras 58: 53–59.
  • 19.Kilburn K, Prencipe L, Hjelm L, et al. (2018) Examination of performance of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale Short Form 10 among African youth in poor, rural households. BMC Psychiatry 18: 201.    
  • 20.Roberts RE, Vernon SW (1983) The center for epidemiologic studies depression scale: its use in a community sample. Am J Psychiatry 140: 41–46.    
  • 21.Carleton RN, Thibodeau MA, Teale MJN, et al. (2013) The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale: A Review with a Theoretical and Empirical Examination of Item Content and Factor Structure. PLoS ONE 8: e58067.    
  • 22.Herman S, Archambeau O, Deliramich N, et al. (2011) Depressive Symptoms and Mental Health Treatment in an Ethnoracially Diverse College Student Sample. J Am Coll Health 59: 715–720.    
  • 23.Nguyen TT, Phan LTH, Nguyen HVD, et al. (2015) Risk of depression and some risk factors in selected medical students of Hai Phong University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 2015. Vietnam J Prev Med 11: 65–70.
  • 24.Song Y, Huang Y, Liu D, et al. (2008) Depression in college: depressive symptoms and personality factors in Beijing and Hong Kong college freshmen. Compr Psychiatry 49: 496–502.    
  • 25.Ngin C, Pal K, Tuot S, et al. (2018) Social and behavioral factors associated with depressive symptoms among university students in Cambodia: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open 8: e019918.    
  • 26.Ikram K, Leghari MA, Khalil S, et al. (2018) Prevalence of symptoms of depression among the dental undergraduates, Karachi, Pakistan. Int Dent Med J Adv Res 2: 175–178.
  • 27.Dabana A, Gobir AA (2018) Depression among students of a Nigerian University: Prevalence and academic correlates. Arch Med Surg 3: 6–10.    
  • 28.Wickramasinghe DP, Almeida IS, Samarasekera DN (2019) Depression and stressful life events among medical students during undergraduate career: Findings from a medical school in South Asia. Asia Pacific Scholar 4: 42–47.    
  • 29.Al-Subaie HAMand, Al-Subaie SAM (2019) Prevalence of depression in preparatory year students in the college of medicine at King Faisal University: a cross-sectional study. Int J Med Dev Countries 3: 001–004.
  • 30.Fushimi M, Saito S, Shimizu T (2013) Prevalence of depressive symptoms and related factors in Japanese employees as measured by the center for epidemiologic studies depression scale (CES-D). Community Mental Health J 49: 236–242.    
  • 31.Jadoon NA, Yaqoob R, Raza A, et al. (2010) Anxiety and depression among medical students: A cross‑sectional study. J Pak Med Assoc 60: 699–702.
  • 32.Yadav R, Gupta S, Malhotra AK (2016) A cross-sectional study on depression, anxiety and their associated factors among medical students in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. India Int J Community Med Public Health 3: 1209–1214.
  • 33.Silva V, Costa P, Pereira I, et al. (2017) Depression in medical students: insights from a longitudinal study. BMC MedEduc 17: 184.
  • 34.Amal KS, Nur FII, Fahad RC, et al. (2017) Determinant factors of depression: a survey among university students. Malays J Public Health Med 17: 97–103.
  • 35.Dahlin M, Joneborg N, Runeson B (2005) Stress and depression among medical students: a cross-sectional study. Med Educ 39: 594–604.    
  • 36.Loureiro E, Mcintyre T, Mota-Cardoso R, et al. (2008) The relationship between stress and life-style of students at the faculty of medicine of Porto. Acta Med Port 21: 209–214.
  • 37.Najeeb SA, Adnan KA, Najat KA, et al. (2017) Depression among Medical Students in Saudi Arabia. Egyptian J Hospital Med 68: 974–981.    
  • 38.Nguyen TT, PLTH, Nguyen HVD, et al. (2015) Risk of depression and some risk factors in selected medical students of Hai Phong University of Medicine and Pharmacy. Vietnam J Prev Med 11: 65–70.
  • 39.Yusoff MSB (2018) Relationships of interviewer rating judgments with academic performance and depression symptoms. Eur J Basic Clin Med Sci 1:10–16.
  • 40.Kaya M, Genc M, Kaya B, et al. (2007) Prevalence of depressive symptoms, ways of coping, and related factors among medical school and health services higher education students. Turk Psikiyatri Derg 18: 137–146.
  • 41.MOLISA, UNDP and CAF/VASS (2018) Available from: https://www.undp.org/content/dam/vietnam/docs/Publications/Full%20report%20MDP%20final%20VN.pdf.
  • 42.Luu BN, Nguyen TT (2018) Available from: http://www.iard.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/IPSS_ConsumptionofAlcoholBeveragesinVietnam.pdf.
  • 43.Peltzer K, Pengpid S, Olowu S, et al. (2013) Depression and Associated factors among university students in Western Nigeria. J Psychol Afr 23: 459–466.    
  • 44.Jafari N, Loghmani A, Montazeri A (2012) Mental health of Medical Students in Different Levels of Training. Int J Prev Med 3: S107.
  • 45.Shaikh B, Kahloon A, Kazmi M, et al. (2004) Students, stress and coping strategies: A case of Pakistani medical school. Educ Health 17: 346–353.    
  • 46.Saipanish R (2003) Stress among medical students in a Thai medical school. Med Teach 25: 502–506.    
  • 47.Rees C, Wearn A, Vnuk A, et al. (2009) Medical students' attitudes towards peer physical examination: Findings from an international cross-sectional and longitudinal study. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract 14: 103–121.    
  • 48.Nguyen TPT (2017) Employment situation of graduates of management information system branch at HU-University of Economics. J Sci Hue Univ Vietnam 126: 207–217.
  • 49.Vilagut G, Forero CG, Barbaglia G, et al. (2016) Screening for depression in the general population with the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D): A systematic review with meta-analysis. PLoS One 11: e0155431.    


This article has been cited by

  • 1. Nam Pham Tien, Tung Pham Thanh, Dung Nguyen Hanh, An Duong Hoang, Anh Bui Dang The, Giang Kim Bao, Giang Dang Huong, Hien Ngo Thi Thu, Hung Pham Ngoc, Huong Nguyen Thi Thanh, Linh Bui Phuong, Linh Dao Thi Dieu, Long Nguyen Xuan, Tan Pham Van, Thu Hoang Gia, Thu Ha Thi, Tuan Duong Viet, Tu Nguyen Huu, Minh Hoang Van, Utilization of mental health services among university students in Vietnam, International Journal of Mental Health, 2020, 1, 10.1080/00207411.2020.1816114
  • 2. Estrella Flores, Evelyn Alanoca, Selma Olivera, Sun Ah Chung, Stephanie Moscoso, Cristian Roca, Depression in medical students: an approach to Brazilian student’s depression in Bolivia, Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 2020, 1, 10.1080/17450128.2020.1839155

Reader Comments

your name: *   your email: *  

© 2019 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved