Analysis of Stress Prevalence in a Medical School: A Cross-Sectional Study

Author(s): Fahad Nawaz Sheikh, Syed Adeel Hassan, Hannan Asghar, Noman Saleem, Anam Fahad, Ali Choudhry, Sheel Iqbal, Umar Farooque

Introduction: Students and professionals in Medicine face stressful situations on a regular basis. This study focuses on evaluating the prevalence of stress among students of a medical college in Pakistan and its variation on the basis of gender.

Materials and methods: This is a cross-sectional study that involves 88 second year medical students of Sahiwal Medical College, Sahiwal, Pakistan. The data was collected via a self-administered questionnaire based on Perceived Stress Scale-10 (PSS-10), and was analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 24 and Microsoft Excel 2014. Stress levels among students were evaluated by dividing the perceived stress scores into four quartiles. In order to compare the prevalence of stress among male and female students, the Independent Samples t-test was also used.

Results: The overall stress prevalence was 91.78% with a mean PSS-10 score of 20.178 (SD = 5.745). There was a significant difference (p = 0.016 and Cohen’s d = 0.7) between the mean stress scores of male and female students. The percentages of students with no, mild, moderate, and severe stress were found to be 8.2%, 24.7%, 27.4%, and 39.7%, respectively.

Conclusions: Our study revealed a high prevalence of stress among the medical students, more in females than in males. It points towards the need to take measures directed towards the improvement of the mental well-being of medical students.

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