Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders and being an increasing concern in university students who have an increased risk of psychiatric disorders during adulthood. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of depression and its associated risk factors among university students in Malaysia. A cross sectional pilot study was conducted between 9th and 28th September 2020 among 80 university students in Malaysia. Participants completed online survey questionnaires, including the validated Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), Constitution in Chinese Medicine Questionnaire (CMCQ), Dysfunctional Attitude Scale (DAS), Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) that assess depression, body constitution, cognitive bias, stress, perceived stress and self-esteem respectively. Socio-demographic data and health status were also recorded. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed to determine the associated risk factors for depression. The overall prevalence of depression among university students was 33.8%, with a greater prevalence among females (26.3%) than males (7.5%). The multiple regression analysis showed a significant positive relationship between depression and qi stagnation constitution (B = 0.089, p = 0.011). Additionally, significant negative relationships were found between depression with balanced constitution (B = -0.077, p = 0.049) and self-esteem (B = -0.325, p = 0.001) respectively. Our findings suggest that traditional Chinese medicine body constitution and self-esteem are significant risk factors affecting the depression among university students, although more studies with larger sample size are needed to confirm this. The identification of risk factors of depression is vital to aid in early detection of depression among university students.
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