A cross-sectional survey of stressors and coping strategies among the first-year medical students in Kerala
Indian Journal of Clinical Anatomy and Physiology
Compared to the general population medical students have to face more stress, which, if not handled properly, may negatively affect the career of future doctors and community health drastically. To counter this stress, they need appropriate coping strategies. Studies on stress and coping strategies among medical students in India are very few to date and show wide demographic variations in their results. Materials and Methods: We carried out a cross-sectional survey to find out stressors using
... ut stressors using a validated Medical Students' Stressor Questionnaire (MSSQ) and we used Brief COPE scale to assess the coping strategies adopted by the first-year medical students in Kerala. Descriptive statistics was used to compile and summarize data. Result: Most common stress inducer was found to be 'academic related stressor' domain, in which we observed that 88% students had moderate to high level of stress. In this domain, more common stressors were 'examinations' and 'large amount of content to be learnt'. 'Planning' was ranked first with mean score (SD) of 5.72 (1.42), while 'substance use', 2.07 (0.45) was least adopted coping method by them. Conclusion: Academic stressors were found to be the most common stressor domain in first-year medical students. Timely reduction of such stress using various measures is expected from the educators. Maximum students employed constructive coping strategy i.e. 'planning' but maladaptive 'self-distraction' coping was also seen in substantial number of students who can be helped by guiding them for proper coping methods.