Prevalence and Sources of Stress among Universiti Sains Malaysia Medical Students|
Yusoff, Muhamad Saiful Bahri; Rahim, Ahmad Fuad Abdul & Yaacob, Mohd Jamil
Background: Being in medical school has always been regarded as highly stressful. Excessive
stress causes physical and mental health problems. Persistent stress can impair students’ academic
achievement and personal or professional development. The aim of this study is to explore the nature
of stress among medical students by determining the prevalence, sources and pattern of stress and
the factors affecting it.
Methods: We chose a cross-sectional study design utilizing validated questionnaires, the 12
items General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and Medical Student Stressor Questionnaire (MSSQ),
to evaluate stress levels and stressors. School and ethical committee clearance were obtained prior
to the study. Data were analysed using SPSS version 12.
Results: Of the medical students who were administered the questionnaire, 761 (72%)
respondents participated in this study. The prevalence of stress among the medical students was
29.6%. The top 10 stressors were academic-related. Prevalence of stress for the first, second, third,
fourth and fifth year students was 26.3%, 36.5 %, 31.4%, 35.3% and 21.9%, respectively. Year of study
was the only significant factor affecting stress among medical students (P-value < 0.05).
Conclusions: The prevalence of stress among medical students in USM is high. Academic related
problems were the major stressor among medical students. Year of study was the factor most
significantly associated with medical students’ stress. There was a bimodal pattern of the stress level
throughout the year of study.
medical students, mental health, stress, medical sciences