Stressors in health professional students

M. Anthony David, S Hadassah Evangeline


Stress is increasingly seen to invade every segment of the society today. Increasing stress levels are pushing many people into depression as is evidenced by the increased number of suicides in younger population. Health Professional courses are difficult to gain entry into. They are lengthy, hectic and stressful to continue.

To determine stress levels, most common and least common stressors, and any gender differences in stress levels among first year health professional students.

A study was done in an institution in south India. Ethical clearance was obtained from the institution research council and informed consent obtained from all the students involved in the study. First year medical and dental students were included and the study protocol was explained to them first. A previously tested instrument, the Medical Student Stress Questionnaire (MSSQ) was administered to them.

On an average first year health professionals are moderately stressed when analyzed according to MSSQ. Stress levels are high in dental students than in medical students. Girls are more stressed than boys. Dental girls are moderately to highly stressed. Dental boys are mildly stressed. The most common stressor is Inter and intra personal related stress; second most common is Group activity related stress. The least common stressors are drive, desire related stress and social activity related stress.

Almost all the health professional students are stressed moderately. Inter and intra personal related stressors seem to be the greatest cause of stress in them.


Keywords: Stress, Students, Stressors, Medical, Dental

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