Differences In Perceived Stress
and Its Correlates Among Students In
Abhay B Mane
Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine,
Navodaya Medical College & Hospital
Mantralayam Road, Raichur-584103,
Background: Medical education is perceived as being stressful, with negative effects on the mental health of the students. Previous studies have shown relatively high levels of distress among medical students, such as symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts. Only few studies have tried to explore the stress among medical students, but none have compared it with those among the paramedical and non medical students.
Objective: To explore the differences and the correlates of perceived stress among students in professional courses.
Materials And Method: The data was analyzed from 282 students who were studying different courses, by sampling with a probability proportional to size through an anonymous, selfadministered questionnaire which covered socio-demographic data, stressors and a perceived stress scale.
Results: The prevalence of perceived stress by using the PSS scale was found to be 50 % in the study subjects. The mean PSS score was the highest for dental (29.5) and the lowest for pharmacy (23.2) students. The difference in the mean PSS scores among the students of different courses was statistically significant. No statistical difference was noted in perceived stress between the male and female students (P> 0.05).The main sources of stress were found to be related to physical and academic factors. The main coping strategies which were adopted were, talking to family members or friends (41.1%), sleeping (16%), watching TV/movies (12.6%) and listening to music. 47.2% students felt a need for professional help during stress.
Conclusion: High levels of perceived stress were found in dental students. The stressors at the campus should be identified, discussed with, and proper coping assistance should be provided to the individual students.