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Stress Level Comparison of Medical and Nonmedical Students: A Cross Sectional Study done at Various Professional Colleges in Karachi, Pakistan

Iram Saddiqa Aamir

Objective: To compare the stress levels of medical students with that of other professional colleges. Background: Stress is known to affect learning abilities and also be a risk factor for various health and psychological difficulties. Through earlier studies, stress levels of medical students have established to be high during their academic life. In Pakistan, local epidemiological data about psychological morbidity among medical undergraduate students is infrequent. An extensive electronic Internet-based search failed to locate any study which shows a comparison of stress between medical students and the students of other professions in Karachi, which is the objective of our study.

Methods: The study was conducted at various professional colleges all over Karachi. A sample of 600 students, 50 from each of the 12 selected colleges was taken. A standardized stress questionnaire of the International Stress Management Association (UK) was used to assess the stress levels which categorized the level of stress into mild, moderate and severe.

Results: Stress levels were found to be higher in medical students, and this stress was mostly attributed to studies according to majority of the medical students (75.6%), where as calculated stress levels were also higher in medical students (54.6%).

Conclusion: Stress levels of medical students were found to be suggestively higher than those of non-medical professional students. Thus, medical students should be provided with appropriate counseling and stress relieving activities to prevent the long term antagonistic effects of elevated stress levels on the physical and mental health of future doctors.

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