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Psychology and Psychotherapy: Research Study

Perceived Stress among Medical Students: Prevalence, Source and Severity

Submission: March 20, 2019;Published: May 22, 2019

DOI: 10.31031/PPRS.2019.02.000538

ISSN: 2639-0612
Volume2 Issue3


Background: Many studies have reported elevated level of stress among medical students which may harm physical as well as psychological health of the students but there is dearth of studies on this topic from Pakistan.

Objective: To (a) determine the incidence of stress among undergraduate medical students (b) identify the source of psychological distress and (c) explore the association of perceived stress with socio demographic characteristics and academic grades.

Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out in a public sector medical university which conducts a five year undergraduate medical course. Students from all the five years were recruited by non probability convenient sampling method. Kessler10 psychological distress scale was applied to measure the level of perceived stress as none, mild, moderate, and severe. Prevalence and relation of stress with study variables, (gender, hostel residence, academic year, and academic grades) was studied. Medical Students Stress Questionnaire (MSSQ) short form was used to identify the source of stress.

Results: A total of 261 out of 306 students responded with a response rate of 87%. The overall prevalence of stress was 51.5%, with maximum incidence among students of final year. Male gender, hostel residence and poor academic grades were proved to have significant association with the outcome variable of stress. Students identified three groups of stressors which had a high impact on the psychology of the students. These included academic related stresses, stress associated with witnessing negative patient outcome and distress related to non supportive behavior of the teacher.

Conclusion: More than half of the students were found to be under psychological distress, preventive mental health services, therefore, should be made an essential part of regular clinical services for medical students.

Keywords: Medical education, Stress, academic stressors

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