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Original Article

IJMDC. 2019; 3(12): 37-43

Perceived stress among undergraduate medical students at a private medical college in Saudi Arabia: prevalence and inducing factors

Hani S. Atwa, Turki F. Bugshan, Malak A. Alkaf.

Background: The university environment is stressful since responsibilities and workload are very demanding. The estimated prevalence of psychological stress reported in different studies among the medical students was higher than that in the general population. The present study aimed to assess the prevalence of perceived stress among medical students and stressors affecting them at a private medical college. Methodology: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted involving 439 medical students at Ibn Sina National College for Medical Studies, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia during the academic year 2017–2018. The validated Arabic version of the Perceived Stress Scale-14 was used. Univariate analysis was used to calculate total levels of stress among subjects, while the Chi-square test for independence, independent samples T-test, correlation analysis, and analysis of variance was used to identify stress-inducing factors. p-value < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant. Results: Nearly, half of the males and females had perceived stress. Males showed perceived stress than females, but the difference was statistically insignificant (p > 0.05). The effect was found to be statistically significant (p < 0.05) with several factors, including financial problems, lower previous year grade point average (GPA), and fear of exams. Conclusion: The study confirmed the findings of other studies that the prevalence of perceived stress is high among medical students. Academic problems, such as low GPA and fear of exams, were the greater perceived stressors.

Key words: Perceived stress, PSS-14, medical students, Saudi Arabia.

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