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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 63-69

A study on professional stress, depression and alcohol use among Indian IT professionals


Department of Psychiatry, JSS Medical College and Hospital, JSS University, M.G. Road, Mysore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
M S Darshan
#312, 10th Cross, A-1 Block, 3rd Stage Vijayanagara, Mysore - 570 017, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.105512

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Background: Stress has touched almost all professions posing threat to mental and physical health. India being the Information Technology (IT) hub with lakhs involved as IT Professionals, there is a need to assess prevalence of professional stress, depression and problem alcohol use and understand their association. Objectives: (1) To screen for the prevalence of professional stress, risk for depression and harmful alcohol use among software engineers. (2) To study the association between professional stress, risk for depression and harmful alcohol use. Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional online study conducted using screeing questionnaires like professional life stress scale, centre for epidemiological studies depression scale and alcohol use disorders identification test. This study was conducted specifically on professionals working in an IT firm with the designation of a software engineer. Results: A total of 129 subjects participated in the study. 51.2% of the study sample was found to be professionally stressed at the time of the interview. 43.4% of the study population were found to be at risk for developing depression. 68.2% of those who were professionally stressed were at risk for developing depression compared with only 17.5% of those who were not professionally stressed. Odds ratio revealed that subjects who were professionally stressed had 10 times higher risk for developing depression compared to those who were not professionally stressed. Subjects who were professionally stressed had 5.9 times higher prevalence of harmful alcohol use compared to those who were not professionally stressed. Subjects who were at risk for developing depression had 4.1 times higher prevalence of harmful alcohol use compared with those who were not at risk for developing depression. Conclusion: Such higher rates of professional stress, risk for developing depression and harmful alcohol use among software engineers could hinder the progress of IT development and also significantly increase the incidence of psychiatric disorders.



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