Objectives. To estimate Suicidal Ideation (SI) prevalence among Italian medical students and explore associated factors.
Methods. Multicentre cross-sectional study (2018). Students were enrolled through convenience sampling (sample size=2513). Questionnaires included socio-demographic items and Beck Depression Inventory-II, which has an item on SI. A multivariable regression was performed (p-value<0.05 significant).
Results. SI prevalence was 13.7%. Among students with and without depression SI prevalence was 36.0% and 4.3%. Being female, being in a relationship, good/excellent family cohesion, perceived good economic status were significantly associated with lower SI. Increasing age, bisexual/asexual orientation, psychiatric family history, negative judgment
on medical school choice, competitive/hostile climate and unsatisfying friendships among classmates, being worried about not measuring up to the profession significantly increased SI.
Conclusion. There was a high SI prevalence among Italian medical students, consistently with worldwide data. Demographic, relational, and motivational factors seem to influence SI. Determinants should be further investigated to plan university-level interventions.