CAREER BRIEF

More than one-third of graduate students report being depressed

Rates of anxiety and depression among PhD and master’s students exceed those in general public.

PhD and master’s students worldwide report rates of depression and anxiety that are six times higher than those in the general public (T. M. Evans et al. Nature Biotech. 36, 282–284; 2018). The report, based on the responses of 2,279 students in 26 nations, found that more than 40% of respondents had anxiety scores in the moderate to severe range, and that nearly 40% showed signs of moderate to severe depression. The high rates suggested by this study are alarming, says Teresa Evans, a neuroscientist at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the study’s lead author. She notes that students suffering from anxiety or depression might have been especially motivated to take the survey, which could have skewed the results. But she believes that the findings underscore the severity of the problem and the need for a response. Evans adds that universities should provide students with training to help them manage their time and cope with stress.

Nature 555, 691 (2018)

doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-03803-3
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