Perception of Academic Stressors Among Dental Undergraduate Students

Tayyaba Saleem            BDS, FCPS, MME
Raheela Yasmin            BDS, DCPS, MHPE, PhD
Anbreen Aziz                 BDS, MHPE
Usman Mahboob           MBBS, MPH, FHEA, DHPE, Fellow FAIMER
Ahsan Sethi                   BDS,MPH, MMEd, FHEA, MAcadMEd, FDTFEd, PhD


OBJECTIVE: Present study was conducted to assess the perceived academic sources of stress among undergraduate dental
students and determine its association with gender, year of study, pre-university education and accommodation. This study
was conducted in dental section, Islamabad Medical and Dental college, Islamabad from July to November 2016.
METHODOLOGY: BDS students were asked to rate their perceived stress on four point Likert scale of modified version of
Dental Environment Stress (DES) questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were applied to find the mean scores and SD on all
items. Using SPSS v.21, Kruskal Wallis test was used to compare stress levels among different undergraduate professional
years and Mann-Whitney U test was applied to determine the association and stress sources and demographic variables.
RESULTS: A total of 172/200 participants responded (86%) to the survey. Overall stress in undergraduate dental students was
in moderate range. Majority of students (93%) reported that syllabus load was either stressful or very stressful (3.53±0.64),
85% students reported lack of relaxation time as stressful or very stressful (3.42±0.86) and fear of failing was reported as
stressful or very stressful by 82.5% (3.34±0.87). When stress scores of all classes were compared third year reported more
mean stress scores than other years (2.50±0.50). Females were more stressed compared to males with mean score of (2.37±0.39),
students living at home were more stressed than hosteilites (2.38±0.38) and those with GCE A-levels had higher stress (2.40±0.38)
compared to HSC background students. Academic performance was the most stressful of the five stress domains (3.07±0.74).
CONCLUSION: Syllabus load followed by lack of time for relaxation and fear of failing were the most perceived sources
of stress. Academic performance was the most stressful of the five stress domains and third year BDS was the most stressed
KEY WORDS: Dental Education; Dental Students; Psycholofical Stress, Stressor, Undergraduate,.
HOW TO CITE: Saleem T, Yasmin R, Aziz A, Mahboob U, Sethi A. Perception of academic stressors among dental undergraduate
students. J Pak Dent Assoc 2021;30(4):228-234.
Received: 14 January 2021, Accepted: 19 June 2021

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