Eustress in Education: Analysis of the
Perceived Stress Score (PSS) and Blood
Pressure (BP) during Examinations
in Medical Students
Department of Physiology, Kasturba Medical College,
Centre for Basic Sciences, Bejai, Mangalore
(A Unit of Manipal University), 575004, India.
Phone: +91 9449642150.
Background: Stress is widely perceived as a detrimental phenomenon which causes bad effects on individuals. Students are subjected to periodical examinations which often lead to stress responses. Overwhelming evidence in the literature suggests that examination stress is bad. However, Hans Selye had suggested that there were two types of stress responses, namely, distress and eustress.
Setting and Study Design: In this study, we analyzed the results of the Perceived Stress Score (PSS) and the blood pressure variations among first year medical students.
Materials and Methods: One hundred (50 males and 50 females) first year medical students, one month before and immediately after the examinations, were given the PSS sheets. Their blood pressure was also recorded on both the occasions.
Results: We are reporting here, the increased PSS score in all the students during the post-examination period (p<0.01). The number of students in the low stress group was the highest (77) before the examination and in the moderately stressed group, it was 20. But in the post examination period, the low stress group had only 24 students, while the moderately stressed group showed an increase in the number of students to 65. There was an increase in the BP also.
Conclusions: From the results, it is evident that there was some stress during the examinations, which was in agreement with the previous reports. But we, from the results of this study, suggest that the examinations which causes mild to moderate stress that will condition the students and the efficacy of the General Adaptation Syndrome will be improved in such subjects. Therefore, we suggest that the examination stress (within limits) may be considered as eustress.