Prevalence of depressive symptoms as elicited by Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) among medical trainees in Oman

Ghaniya Al-Ghafri, Hamed Al-Sinawi, Abdullah Al-Muniri, Atsu S.S. Dorvlo, Yahya M. Al-Farsi, Kerry Armstrong, Samir Al-Adawi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Despite the increasing recognition that medical training tends to coincide with markedly high levels of stress and distress, there is a dearth of validated measures that are capable of gauging the prevalence of depressive symptoms among medical residents in the Arab/Islamic part of the world. Objective: The aim of the present study is two-fold. First is to examine the diagnostic validity of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) using an Omani medical resident population in order to establish a cut-off point. Second is to compare gender, age, and residency level among Omani Medical residents who report current depressive symptomatology versus those who report as non-depressed according to PHQ-9 cut-off threshold. Results: A total of 132 residents (42 males and 90 females) consented to participate in this study. The cut-off score of 12 on the PHQ-9 revealed a sensitivity of 80.6% and a specificity of 94.0%. The rate of depression, as elicited by PHQ-9, was 11.4%. The role of gender, age, and residency level was not significant in endorsing depression. Conclusion: This study indicated that PHQ-9 is a reliable measure among this cross-cultural population. More studies employing robust methodology are needed to confirm this finding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-62
Number of pages4
JournalAsian Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Depression
  • Medical trainees
  • Oman
  • PHQ-9
  • Patient health questionnaire
  • Residency
  • Socio-demographic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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