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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 41-46

Stress levels and its association with self-harm and risk-taking behavior in medical undergraduates

Department of Psychiatry, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Center, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Suprakash Chaudhury
Department of Psychiatry, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Center, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune - 411 018, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_31_18

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Background: Medical studies are very challenging. As a result of the demands placed on them, students may be under stress, and this may affect their behavior and performance. Not many Indian studies have delved into this problem. Aim: The aim of the study is to assess the levels of stress and its associated adverse behavioral effects in undergraduate medical students in a tertiary care medical college. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional, descriptive, and analytical study included medical students from 2nd to 4th year who had given informed consent to participate in the study. Students were assessed with a semi-structured questionnaire, students stress scale (SSS), perceived stress questionnaire, and risk-taking and self-harm (RT and SH) inventory. Results: A total of 405 students (153 males and 252 females) participated in the study. There were no significant differences in the age, perceived family support, religious practices, physical activity, and SSS scores of the male and female students. A significantly higher score was obtained by boys as compared to the girls on the scores of the RT subscale and total score on RT and SH inventory. However, girls obtained significantly higher scores as compared to boys on the perceived stress scale. Among girls, 23.4% reported high stress, 63.5% had moderate stress, and 13.1% reported low stress. Among boys, 11.1% reported high stress, 68.6% had moderate stress, and 20.3% reported low stress. The difference was statistically significant. Conclusions: The majority of Medical undergraduates were under stress; however, the majority perceived themselves to be under moderate stress. Male students had higher scores on RT and SH inventory as compared to females. There is an urgent need to study the causes and devise effective management and preventive measures to avoid the harmful long-term effects of stress on their careers and well-being.

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