Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: There is a considerable amount of published literature on mental health and its impact on health care costs and productivity. Many studies have examined the mental health wellness of pharmacy students or medical residents whereas few studies have focused on pharmacy residents. The purpose of this Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved study was to determine the perceived stress and presence of depressive symptoms in postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) and postgraduate year 2 (PGY2) pharmacy residents participating in a teaching certificate program and identify a need for pharmacy resident tailored wellness services on campus.
Methods: A one-time anonymous electronic survey using Qualtrics software was administered in April 2019 via email to 36 pharmacy residents completing a University affiliated residency program. The primary endpoints of this study were scores on the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) and the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Question 9 on the PHQ-9 (thoughts that you would be better off dead, or of hurting yourself) was omitted from the survey due to the inability of the investigators to intervene if suicidal ideation was endorsed as the survey was anonymous. The secondary endpoints were perceived overall mental health, duration and negative effects of reported emotional problems, presence of household or social stressors, and durations of different emotional states felt during the residency year. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data.
Results: Overall, 52 percent (n equals 19) of residents responded to the survey. Of those, the majority were female (n equals 14). Seventeen responses were from PGY1 residents and two were from PGY2 residents. Eighteen residents were included in the PSS-10 analysis due to one incomplete survey response. The mean score on the PSS-10 was 18.1 (SD plus or minus 5.68) with 72 percent of residents scoring within the perceived moderate stress range. The majority of residents (74 percent) had a PHQ-9 score of less than 10 with a mean score of 6.7 (SD plus or minus 5.38). Most (79 percent) pharmacy residents rated their overall mental health as “good” or higher. Two-thirds (68 percent) of the residents said they felt they accomplished less than they would have liked due to emotional problems. About half said that these emotional problems started sometime during the residency year. The most common household stressor was “financial burden” as reported by 19 percent of residents. Of the five emotional states, residents felt stressed on average 62 percent of the time, followed by happy (57 percent), calm (48 percent), anxious (43 percent) and depressed (17 percent) during residency.
Conclusion: Although the majority of pharmacy residents appeared to be handling stress in a manner that did not affect their mental health, it is notable that 26 percent of the subjects in this study endorsed symptomatology that could be indicative of a depressive disorder. These results support the need for wellness programs or quarterly evaluations to be implemented to assess the residents’ wellness during their training program.