Medical students’ perceptions of stress factors affecting their academic performance, perceived stress and stress management techniques

Violet N. Pinto, Sumit Wasnik, Sumedha M. Joshi, Deepa H. Velankar


Background: Medical students during their training period to become competent physicians are themselves vulnerable to various stresses which can affect their health and academic performance. The objectives of the study were to study MBBS students perceptions of stress factors affecting their academic performance; to assess the perceived stress in the students; to identify the stress management techniques used by the students.

Methods: A cross-sectional was conducted on 169 MBBS students in a private medical college in Navi Mumbai after taking their consent. Data collection was by pretested, pre-coded, semi-structured self-administered questionnaire. Statistical analysis was done by SPSS Version 20.0 and relevant tests for data analysis.

Results: The mean PSS score in the students was 26.96 (SD=6.332). Moderate stress and severe stress were present in 37.3% and 1.1% students respectively. Perceived stress was significantly associated with female sex, mother tongue; vastness of curriculum, dissatisfaction with clinical teaching, competition with peers and high parental expectations. More than 50% students felt that they were not able to adequately manage their stress. The most commonly used stress management techniques were social media usage and engaging in hobbies/sports.

Conclusions: There is an urgent need for conducting screening programmes for stress in medical students and implementing measures which will equip them with skills to manage their stress.


Medical students, Academic performance, Perceived stress

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