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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 29-34

Prevalence of stress, stressors and coping strategies among medical students in a Nigerian medical school

1 Department of Community Medicine, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State, Ibadan, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
3 Department of Anaesthesia, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State, Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Afiong Oboko Oku
Department of Community Medicine, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2384-5589.153384

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Introduction: Several international studies suggest that medical school training is associated with high levels of stress. Although stress is peculiar to the medical profession, it is rarely given the desired attention, especially in resource-constrained settings. This study was therefore conducted to determine the prevalence of stress stressors, coping strategies of medical students in the University of Calabar, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive survey of 451 medical students was conducted on available classes during the study period. A semi-structured self-administered questionnaire was used to elicit information from respondents. Data were summarized using proportions, and Chi-square test was used to explore associations between categorical variables. Level of significance was set at P < 0.05. Results: Majority (94.2%), of undergraduate medical trainees perceived the training as stressful. The major stressors identified were excessive academic work load (82.3%), inadequate holidays (76.4%), and insufficient time for recreation (76.2%). Feeling depressed, sleeping problems and anxiety were the most common effects of stress reported by the respondents. The coping strategies adopted by the students were mainly positive. Perceived stress was significantly associated with being in the clinical level of study, residing on campus and a higher monthly allowance (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Majority of the students interviewed perceived their training as stressful. There is, therefore, an urgent need for medical educators to introduce of stress management courses or programs into the curriculum.

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