Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Community Medicine, Hinduhridaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Medical College, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

2 Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Bhopal, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

3 Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Bhopal, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India


BACKGROUND: Stress is a subjective experience which creates an obstacle in a person’s path of
achieving his or her goals. It creates negative outcomes among the population. Medical curriculum
is very vast and stressful. As doctors are the very important part of society, medical students must
be allowed to learn their trade in a stress‑free environment. The present study aimed to assess the
perceived stress, various sources of stress among medical undergraduate students, and the coping
strategies adopted.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a cross‑sectional study conducted among medical
under‑graduate students studying at a tertiary care hospital situated in Mumbai city of Maharashtra
between January and June 2018. Using purposive sampling technique, a total of 450 medical students
from 1st year to final year were invited to participate in the study. A self‑administered questionnaire
consisting of sociodemographic details and perceived stress scale questions was used. Logistic
regression analysis was carried out to assess the determinants of stress. Odds ratio, 95% confidence
interval was calculated. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
RESULTS: The overall response rate was 79.11%, with 356 out of 450 students returning the
questionnaire. Among 356 participants, 324 participants (91%) were suffering from high levels
of stress. Factors such as curriculum vastness, frequency of examination, competition with peer,
performance in examinations, worry about future, loneliness, relation with opposite sex, and quality
of food played a major role in creating additional stress.
CONCLUSIONS: The perceived stress was higher among female medical students. Academic factors
are greater perceived cause of stress in medical students in this study. A substantial proportion of
medical undergraduate students were found to be stressed which necessitates appropriate and timely
interventions. Reframing the academic curriculum along with examination and evaluation patterns,
incorporating extracurricular activities, and establishment of counselling cells in the institution is the
need of the hour.


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