Students, stress and coping strategies: a case of Pakistani medical school.

Community Health Sciences Department, Aga Khan University (AKU) Karachi, Pakistan.
Education for Health 12/2004; 17(3):346-53. DOI: 10.1080/13576280400002585
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Assess the perception of stress amongst medical students and their coping strategies. METHODOLOGY/STUDY DESIGN: A cross sectional study using a semi-structured self administered questionnaire was carried out over four weeks, using a small sample of students of all categories and classes of a medical college.
A total of 264 students out of 300 (88%) filled in the questionnaire. Inability to cope, helplessness, increased psychological pressure, mental tension and too much workload are 'stress factors' for students. A considerable majority (> 90%) think that they have been stressed at one time or another. Ninety-four per cent of males have experienced stress. The senior students of the fourth and final year feel more stressed (95% and 98% respectively). Low moods, inability to concentrate, loss of temper are most common symptoms. Females report more symptoms. Academics and exams are the most powerful stressors. Sports, music, hanging out with friends, sleeping or going into isolation are various coping mechanisms. Stress can affect the academic performance. If needed, students prefer to talk to a peer. They demand more recreational activities on campus, revised schedule of academics and exams, better counselling facilities and improvement in student-teacher relationship.
The prevalence of perceived stress seems to be high among medical students, which tends to affect not only their academic performances but also all aspects of health. Review of academics and exam schedules, more leisure time activities, better interaction with the faculty and proper guidance, advisory services and peer counselling at the campus could do a lot to reduce the stress.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recently, an important literature data has reported that medical students experience stress more than students in other disciplines. In contrast, there is a significant shortage of the stress impact on the academic performance. The primary purpose of our study was to determine the prevalence of stress among Casablanca Medical students and to investigate if there is an association between stress and academic skills. A total of 275 participants studying at Casablanca Medical School were included. The study was conducted using a self-administered, anonymous questionnaire, which included four subscales on academic skills perception (Academic competence, Test competence, Time management and Strategic study habits) and a Test Anxiety scale to assess the degree of stress related to exams among medical students. The overall findings showed that 52.7% of respondents were stressed by examinations, and the highest stress prevalence was among the fifth-year medical students. Measures of comparative stress degrees between male and female students did not show any statistical significant differences (p=0.34). Correlation analysis revealed negative association between stress and academic competence (-0.394), test competence (-0.426), time management (-0.240), strategic study (-0.183) respectively (p<0.001). Medical educators and psychologists have to increase clinical awareness of stress among medical students, by establishing strategies for stress management.
    10/2014; 19:149. DOI:10.11604/pamj.2014.19.149.4010
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction. Medicine is one of the most stressful fields of education because of its highly demanding professional and academic requirements. Psychological stress, anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances are highly prevalent in medical students. Methods. This cross-sectional study was undertaken at the Combined Military Hospital Lahore Medical College and the Institute of Dentistry in Lahore (CMH LMC), Pakistan. Students enrolled in all yearly courses for the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree were included. The questionnaire consisted of four sections: (1) demographics (2) a table listing 34 potential stressors, (3) the 14-item Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-14), and (4) the Pittsburgh Quality of Sleep Index (PSQI). Logistic regression was run to identify associations between group of stressors, gender, year of study, student's background, stress and quality of sleep. Results. Total response rate was 93.9% (263/280 respondents returned the questionnaire). The mean (SD) PSS-14 score was 30 (6.97). Logistic regression analysis showed that cases of high-level stress were associated with year of study and academic-related stressors only. Univariate analysis identified 157 cases with high stress levels (59.7%). The mean (SD) PSQI score was 8.1 (3.12). According to PSQI score, 203/263 respondents (77%) were poor sleepers. Logistic regression showed that mean PSS-14 score was a significant predictor of PSQI score (OR 1.99, P < 0.05). Conclusion. We found a very high prevalence of academic stress and poor sleep quality among medical students. Many medical students reported using sedatives more than once a week. Academic stressors contributed significantly to stress and sleep disorders in medical students.
    01/2015; 3:e840. DOI:10.7717/peerj.840
  • Source
    01/2014; DOI:10.5455/jcme.20140620013233