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J Dent Res Dent Clin Dent Prospects. 2016 Fall;10(4):270-279. doi: 10.15171/joddd.2016.043. Epub 2016 Dec 21.

Environmental and perceived stress in Australian dental undergraduates: Preliminary outcomes.

Author information

1
Westfund Health, Mackay, Australia.
2
School of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia.
3
Eden Dental Surgery, Eden, Australia.
4
School of Dentistry and Health Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Orange, Australia.

Abstract

Background. Dental students have reported a high prevalence of psychological stress and the causes are associated with the challenging dental environmental and demographic factors. This study aimed to conduct a preliminary investigation on dental students' stress status, using a sample of first-to-third-year Bachelor of Dental Surgery students in an Australian university. Special interests included causes of dental environmental stress and access to help services. Methods. A sample of 145 students was surveyed with a modified Dental Environmental Survey and Depression Anxiety Stress Scale in 2014. The participants' demographic information was also collected. Results. The response rate was 95.4%. Second-year (P = 0.042), third-year (P < 0.001) and employed students (P = 0.027) were more likely to report stress resulting from transition to clinical learning. Third-year students were more often stressed about communicating and approaching staff (P = 0.023) as well as different opinions between staff (P < 0.001) and reduced holidays (P < 0.001). Students that were younger than 21 years of age (P = 0.001), that were first years (P < 0.001), and that were not in a relationship (P = 0.010) more often found difficulty of course work stressful. Students who were not in a relationship more often considered learning manual dexterity a source of stress (P = 0.034). Students previously seeking professional help were more likely to be stressed (P = 0.010). Conclusion. Causes of dental environment stress varied among years of study and demographic backgrounds. Professional support to stressed students should be enhanced. Further investigation is indicated.

KEYWORDS:

Dental environmental stress; dental education; dental students; perceived stress

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