Study of perceived stress and stressors among undergraduate medical students

Renu Sethia, Gaurav Sharma, Kirti Shekhawat, Aarti Aacharya, Rekha Acharya, Ratti Ram Meena


Background: Recently there is growing concern about stress during undergraduate’s medical training. Undue stress may cause adverse health consequences and lowered academic performance. Objective of the study was to know perceived level of stress and its causes among undergraduate medical students.

Methods: A cross sectional survey, using self-structured questionnaire, was conducted among 65 third year medical students. Questionnaires were related to socio-demographic profile, perceived stress scale [PSS] and 32 item list of stressors (grouped as health related, academic and psycho-social). Student’s responses were recorded on five point Likert scale.

Results: Mean PSS score was 25.53±5.55 and was significantly higher for females. Psycho-social stressors occurred most frequently, followed by the academic causes.

Conclusions: Medical undergraduates face high level of stress and the causes may be varied. They need more interaction, counselling and support from faculty to relieve their stress.


Medical students, Stress, Stressors

Full Text:



Suresh P, Matthews A, Coyne I. Stress and stressors in the clinical environment: a comparative study of fourth-year student nurses and newly qualified general nurses in Ireland. J Clin Nurs. 2013;22:770-9.

El-Gilany AH, El-Moafee H, Salama L, Jimenez C. Stress among Mansoura (Egypt) baccalaureate nursing students. Pan Afr Med. 2011;8:26.

El-gilany AH, Amr M, Awadalla N, El-Khawaga G. Perceived Stress among Medical and Law Students in Mansoura, Egypt. Egypt J Occup Med. 2009;33:1-13.

American Institute of Stress. What is Stress? Available at: Accessed on 29 January 2019.

Amr A, El-Gilany AH, El-Moafee H, Salama L, Jimenez C. Stress among Mansoura (Egypt) baccalaureate nursing students. Pan Afr Med J. 2011;8:26.

Saravanan C, Wilks R. Medical Students’ Experience of and Reaction to Stress: The Role of Depression and Anxiety. Sci World J. 2014:1-8.

Finkelstein C, Brownstein A, Scott C, Lan Y. Anxiety and stress reduction in medical education: an intervention, 2007.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health. WHO, 2014. Available at: maternal-child/child_adolescent/en/. Accessed on 29 January 2019.

Yusoff MSB, Rahim AFA, Yaacob MJ. The Development and Validity of the Medical Student Stressor Questionnaire (MSSQ). Asean J Psychiatry. 2010;11(1).

Shakthivel N, Amarnath AM, Ahamed F, Rath RS, Sethuraman AR. Rizwan AS. Level of perceived stress and coping strategies prevailing among 1st year medical undergraduate students: A cross-sectional study from south India. Int J Med Public Health. 2017;7(2):111-5.

Chowdhury R, Mukherjee A, Mitra K, Naskar S, Karmakar PR, Lahiri SK. Perceived psychological stress among undergraduate medical students: Role of academic factors. Indian J Public Health. 2017;61:55-7.

Brahmbhatt K, Nadeera V P, Prasanna K S, Jayram S. Perceived stress and sources of stress among medical undergraduates in a private medical college in Mangalore, India. Int J Biomed Adv Res. 2013;4(2):133-5.

Bassols AMS, Carneiro BB, Siqueira AM, Guimarães GC, Okabayashi LMS, Carvalho FG, et al. Stress and coping in a sample of medical students in Brazil. Arch Clin Psychiatry. 2015;42(1):1-5.

Yusoff MSB, Abdul Rahim AF, Yaacob MJ. Prevalence and sources of stress among Universiti Sains Malaysia medical students. Malaysian J Med Sci. 2010;17(1):30–7.

Supe AN. A study of stress in medical students at Seth GS Medical College. J Postgrad Med. 1998;44:1-6.

Nandi M, Hazra A, Sarkar S. Stress and its risk factors in medical students: an observational study from a medical college in India. Indian J Med Sci. 2012;66(1-2):1–12.

Gupta S, Choudhury S, Das M, Mondol A, Pradhan R. Factors causing stress among students of a Medical College in Kolkata, India. Educ Health. 2015;28:92-5.

Panchu P, Bahuleyan B, Vijayan V. An analysis of the factors leading to stress in Indian medical students. Int J Clin Exp Physiol. 2017;4:48-50.

Melaku L, Mossie A, Negash A. Stress among Medical Students and Its Association with Substance Use and Academic Performance. J Biomed Education. 2015;1-9.