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Original Research

Influence of examination stress on pulse rate and blood pressure in first MBBS students

Rajkumar Banner, Subhash Chimkode, Thoushara Manmmadhan.


Background: The term “stress” was first coined by the endocrinologist Hans Selye in the year 1930’s. Stress causes imbalance in the sympathetic and parasympathetic functions which can lead to disturbance in the body homeostasis. Medical education in India is vast, extensive and is more stressful. During undergraduate course medical students have to undergo many examinations such as internal assessment and university examinations, examination is one of the most common stressor for students. As performance in examinations determines the future of students, it is important for medical educators to know the prevalence, and causes, of stress among students at different time intervals.

Aims and Objectives: The aim of the study was to study the influence of examination stress on 1st MBBS students of BRIMS, Bidar from there admission (no examination) to final university examination on blood pressure and pulse rate.

Materials and Methods: The present study was conducted after obtaining the Ethical clearance from the institutional research and ethical committee of Bidar Institute of Medical Sciences, Bidar. The study is carried out in the department of Physiology, BRIMS, Bidar. Out of 150 1st year MBBS students, healthy 102 students aged 17 to 20 years were selected for the study after following the strict inclusion and exclusion criteria. After recording basic physical characteristics, Hemodynamic parameters such as Pulse Rate (Beats per minute), systolic blood pressure (SBP) (mmHg), and diastolic blood pressure (mmHg) were recorded in three sessions, 1st session 1 month after the admission, 2nd session 6–8 days before 1st internal assessment, and 3rd session 6–8 days before final university examinations. The values obtained were analyzed by using t-test. P < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant.

Results: Results revealed that there was statistically significant increase in the values of pulse rate (bpm), SBP (mmHg), and diastolic blood pressure (mmHg) in the study subjects when non examination period (1st session) was compared with the values of before 1st internal assessment (2nd session) and before final university examination (3rd session).

Conclusion: Thus our study concluded that the values of pulse rate, SBP, and diastolic blood pressure were observed to be higher before 1st internal assessment and before university examinations when compared with after 1 month of their admission to college (i.e., no examination time).

Key words: Stress; University Examination; Pulse Rate; Systolic Blood Pressure; Diastolic Blood Pressure

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