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MEDICAL EDUCATION
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 80-86

Perceived stress among medical students: To identify its sources and coping strategies


1 Department of Physiology, NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Biochemistry, NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Shubhada Gade
Department of Physiology, NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center, Nagpur, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2321-4848.133845

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Context: Stress in medical education is common and process-oriented. It often exerts a negative effect on their academic performance, physical health, and psychological well being. Aims: This study aims at identification of such susceptible students in the early stage i.e. first year of medical education, and to provide them essential support in the form of an intervention program to lessen the negative consequences of stress. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out among the First MBBS students of NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center, Nagpur, India. A 41-item questionnaire was designed to assess the sources of stress and their severity. Likert's 5-point scale was used to quantify the extent of severity on each item. Coping strategies adopted by students were assessed by using a 22-item stress inventory, and a questionnaire based on 19 institutional stress-reducing factors was used to identify its role. Results: The survey resulted into an overall response rate of 87% (131 out of 150 students). Median stress level based on 41 items was evaluated for each student. About 29% (40 students) had median stress level greater than 3. Female students were more stressed (17.19%) than male students (14.93%). The study revealed that students generally adopt active coping strategies rather than avoidant strategies like alcohol and drug abuse. The study indicated that emotional support system is a major stress-relieving factor for students. Conclusion: Prevalence of perceived stress is high among medical students. It seems that academic-related problems are greater perceived stressors. Review of academics, exam schedules and patterns, better interaction with the faculty and proper guidance, intervention programs and counseling could certainly help a lot to reduce stress in medical students.


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