Depression among and access to mental care of young Filipino ophthalmologists during the COVID-19 pandemic

Roland Joseph D. Tan, Charisse Ann S. Tanlapco


Objective: This study determined the prevalence of depression among young ophthalmologists during the
COVID-19 pandemic and determined their access to mental healthcare.

Methodology: In this cross-sectional study, members of the Philippine Network of Young Ophthalmologists were surveyed using an online Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), a short self-administered tool which included questions related to their current work to assess depression. The respondents were also asked if there was available, accessible, affordable, adequate, and acceptable mental healthcare to them answerable by yes, no, or maybe.

Results:  Seventy (70) respondents were included in the analysis. The mean age was 33±5 years with 54% being female. Forty-five (45) or 64% were resident trainees with a mean number of years in the training of 2±1 years. The median score for the PHQ-9 was 6.5 (3,12). Forty-two (42) or 60% of the respondents had some degree of depression. Nine (9) or 13% of the respondents had no available service, 6 (9%) had no accessible service, 7 (10%) had no affordable service, and 4 (6%) had no adequate service for mental healthcare for them.

Conclusion:  More than half of the ophthalmologists-in-training and newly practicing suffered from some
degree of depression based on the PHQ-9 questionnaire. A significant proportion was either not sure or do
not have available, accessible, affordable, and adequate mental healthcare services for them.


mental health; COVID-19; mental status; young ophthalmologist; PHQ-9

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Print ISSN: 2704-3517; Online ISSN: 2738-042X