Burnout, depression and depersonalisation--psychological factors and coping strategies in dental and medical students.
Previous studies found that stress, depression, burnout, anxiety, and depersonalisation play a significant role amongst dental and medical students. We wanted to examine if students of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg also would report elevated values as can been found in similar publications. Furthermore, particularly coping strategies were investigated. The data collection took place in April 2008 including 182 dental and medical students of the 4th and 5th academic year at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Demographic data and the following screening instruments were used: Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Cambridge Depersonalisation Scale (CDS-9), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Brief COPE. Descriptive statistics showed higher pathological values in dental students than in medical students. The difference was especially pronounced on the depersonalisation scale (CDS-9), with 20.4% of the dental students, but only 5.5% of the medical students showing scores above a cut-off of 19. The scores decreased in the course of 3 semesters of dentistry. The students with elevated values showed a higher degree of dysfunctional coping. Our results obtained with the screening instruments are in line with the results of previous investigations of other authors and point out the importance of this issue. It might be useful to develop programs teaching dental students more adaptive coping strategies before their first patient contact.