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Status of mental stress among medical students: Experience from medical colleges in Bihar

Deepmala Sinha, Hemlata Chourasia, Pankaj Bhusan, Rajni Kant, Amita Kumari Mahapatra, Bhagyajyoti Priyadarshini.


Background: Admission in medical colleges exposes students to a new educational environment. Then, they encounter the pressure of huge syllabus, language hurdles, peer stress, stress of hostel life, etc. The coping capability in these stressful conditions varies student to student.

Aim and Objectives: In this study, we aimed to ascertain the level of stress assessed by a validated questionnaire among first-year medical students.

Materials and Methods: This was an online survey-based study. A validated questionnaire Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) was used to ascertain the level of perceived stress. The questionnaire assesses the perceived stress for the past 1 month period. Questionnaire link was distributed among 200 students. Data were tabulated and presented by descriptive statistical tests such as mean, standard deviation, and percentage. The inferential statistical test – Chi-square test and ANOVA were conducted in Microsoft Excel 2010.

Results: A total 103 student submitted completed questionnaire (survey response rate 51.5%). Among the students, 27.18% was in “no stress” category and 72.82% was among different level of “stress” category. Among the stressed students, 39.81% was in “mild stress,” 18.45% was in “moderate stress,” and 14.56% was in “severe stress.” Mean score of these four groups showed statistically significant (P < 0.001) difference when tested by ANOVA.

Conclusion: The majority of medical students have mild stress. A significant percent also suffers from moderate-to-severe stress. Teacher and the stakeholders should take necessary steps to help those students in coping up with stress related to studies by counseling and other interventions.

Key words: Medical Students; Perceived Stress; Psychological Distress; K10

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