Impact of Counselling Services in Stress Reduction among First Year MBBS Students JC15-JC18
Dr. Angela Viswasom,
Professor and Head, Department of Anatomy, Travancore Medical College, Thatttamala-691589, Kollam, Kerala, India.
Introduction: Medical education being a highly competitive field is known to be quite stressful. Stress hinders the efficiency of many medical students. It has a negative influence on their academic performance as well as their physical health.
Aim: To observe the baseline stress level of first year medical students and to assess the effect of counselling and mentoring programme on these stress levels.
Materials and Methods: An experimental study (pre and post-test without control) was conducted during November to December 2015 amongst the first year medical students of the Travancore Medical College, Kollam, Kerala, India. Ninety-eight first year medical students were divided into 10 batches and were assigned to a teaching faculty of the basic specialities (mentor). Personal interaction and counselling was conducted by the teaching faculty with technical assistance from the psychiatry department. General stress relieving techniques were taught to students through two counselling programmes in four batches, each within a gap of one month. Standardised peer reviewed, pre validated stress assessing questionnaires (pre-test and post-test) were administered to the students who consented and attended all sessions.
Results: It was identified that around 74 out of 98 (75.5%) of the students were experiencing stress at the beginning of the study and this reduced to 69 out of 98 (70.4%) after implementation of the programme in a time period of one month. This shows that counselling programmes were effective in reducing both baseline stress and academic stress amongst first year medical students.
Conclusion: Assessment of stress and conduct of stress management programmes are necessary for improving the academic performance and Quality Of Life (QOL) of medical students. Stress relieving techniques should also be practiced to reduce stress in medical education.