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Int J Med Educ. 2017 Oct 26;8:382-388. doi: 10.5116/ijme.59c6.3075.

Psychosocial correlates of perceived stress among undergraduate medical students in Nigeria.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Services, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria.
2
Synapse Services Centre for Psychological Medicine, Lagos, Nigeria.
3
Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria.
4
Department of Psychiatry, University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria.
5
Department of Mental Health, College of Medical Sciences, University of Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria.
6
Department of Psychiatry, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria.
7
Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria.
8
Department of Clinical Services, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria.
9
Department of Psychological Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.
10
University of Sierra Leone Teaching Hospital, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
11
Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Parklane, Nigeria.
12
Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo State, Nigeria.

Abstract

Objectives:

To assess the prevalence and factors associated with perceived stress among medical students.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study of students (n=623) selected across eight medical schools in Nigeria. A structured questionnaire obtained socio-demographic characteristics, alcohol use (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test), other psychoactive drug use (Drug Abuse Screening Test), anxiety/depression symptoms (Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale) and stress (Perceived Medical School Stress Scale). We performed bivariate analysis using the chi-squared test, t-test and one-way ANOVA, with multiple regression analysis for multivariate testing in analysing the data.

Results:

Most students reported experiencing medical school stress. Female participants were more likely to perceive medical school as competitive (t(621)=1.17, p=0.003), less likely to see medical school as a threat (t(621)=-2.70, p=0.01) or worry about finances (t(621)=-4.80, p=0.001). Nearly a quarter; 21.3% (n=133) and 28.6% (n=178) reported depression and anxiety symptoms respectively. Approximately 4.2% (n=26) were dependent on alcohol, while 14.1% (n=88) had 'low-risk use' for other psychoactive substances. In the multiple regression model, lack of finance (B=2.881, p=0.001), weak adherence to religious faith (B=2.376, p=0.001), anxiety symptoms (B=-2.231, p=0.002), problematic alcohol use (B=5.196, p=0.001) and choice of study influenced by parents (B=-3.105, p=0.001) were predictors of greater perceived stress.

Conclusions:

Medical students in Nigeria report high levels of stress. Incorporating stress reduction strategies in the medical curriculum, and the input of students in providing feedback regarding the methods and styles of undergraduate medical education is required.

KEYWORDS:

medical students; nigeria; psychosocial correlates; stress

PMID:
29083991
DOI:
10.5116/ijme.59c6.3075
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