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A study of stress, stressors, and coping strategies among students of a newly established medical college in South Gujarat

Pawan Goyal, Amit Ashok Upadhyah, Dnyanesh Prabhakar Pandit, Diwakar Sharma, Deepak Howale.


Background: The medical course is considered to be very stressful for the students because of its depth and competitiveness. A newly established institute is likely to be even more stressful. Prolonged stress can cause health problems, hamper academic achievements, and affect patient care.

Aims and Objectives: To assess the prevalence of perceived stress, find out the sources of stress, and assess the coping mechanisms employed by students of a newly established medical college.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive questionnaire-based study was carried out among medical students. Stress was assessed using Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-14). The frequency of occurrence of stress inducing factors (stressors) from a list of 41 stressors and the frequency of usage of different coping strategies were recorded. Frequency distribution, logistic regression analysis, and Chi-square test were used for statistical analysis.

Results: The overall prevalence of stress among study participants was 51.1%, mean PSS score in the study population was 27.20 ± 6.58. The most common reported stressors were: Quality of food in mess, poor road connectivity in campus, and performance in examinations. Commonly used coping strategies were: Active coping (50.2%), planning (46.0%), and positive reframing (42.2%).

Conclusion: High levels of stress exist in students of a new medical college. In addition to the academic, healthrelated and psychosocial stressors which are experienced by medical students elsewhere also, these students face hardships due to under construction campus and lack of amenities. Regulatory bodies need to ensure that the basic permanent infrastructure is in place before permitting admission of students.

Key words: Stress; Stressors; Coping Strategies; Medical Student

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