A New US-UK Diagnostic Project: Mood Elevation and Depression in First-Year Undergraduates at Oxford and Stanford Universities

Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica (Impact Factor: 5.61). 08/2008; 118(1):81-5. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2008.01193.x
Source: PubMed


To investigate differences in prevalence of mood elevation, distress and depression among first-year undergraduates at Oxford and Stanford universities.
An online survey was sent to Oxford and Stanford first-year undergraduate students for two consecutive years in the winter of 2005 and 2006. Students completed a survey that assessed mood symptoms and medication use.
Both universities had similar rates of distress by General Health Questionnaire (Oxford - 42.4%; Stanford - 38.3%), depression by Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (Oxford - 6.2%; Stanford - 6.6%), and psychotropic and non-psychotropic medication usage (psychotropic: Oxford - 1.5%; Stanford 3.5%; nonpsychotropic: Oxford - 13.3%; Stanford - 18%). Oxford had higher rates of mood elevation by Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ) (Oxford - 4%; Stanford - 1.7%).
Oxford and Stanford students have similar rates of mood distress, depression and general medication usage. Students at Oxford have a higher prevalence of MDQ scores that possibly indicate a bipolar disorder, while Stanford students are prescribed more psychotropics.

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    • "udents were compared to young adults of the same age who were working and those who were not . Prevalence of major depressive disorders was clearly higher among non - student young adults . This is an interesting result since several studies focused on the well - being of students seldom used non - student samples for comparison groups ( e . g . , Chandler et al . , 2008"
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    • "As all the individuals in this experiment were euthymic, decreased subjective responses to alcohol may be a trait marker for excessive alcohol consumption among individuals with the BPP. The BPP is relatively common (Chandler et al, 2008; Merikangas et al, 2007), so irrespective of the relationship to bipolar diagnoses, the present findings also suggest it may be important in identifying a common and important outcomeFalcohol misuse. "
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