Abstract ID: 4047

Primary Topic: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research
Secondary Topic: Education Research
Tertiary Topic: Research Methodology

Level of stress in medical students

Late Breaker: Yes

Purpose

The emotional burden and responsibilities resulting from medical training make medical students more susceptible to presenting symptoms related to chronic stress, psychiatric disorders and even suicides. From this situation, we evaluated the level of stress in medical students from the Faculdade de Medicina do ABC, Brazil, from all grades, to measure the possible impact of high hourly loads with intense study pace of medical graduation on the mental health of these students.

Methods/Session Format

Observational cross-sectional study with a representative sample of 98 medical students, from all grades of the course. The research consisted in the application of a systematized questionnaire and in the collecting of fasting morning saliva, in appropriate test tubes, for cortisol levels measurement, the best biochemical indicative of stress level. None of these students had used corticosteroids in the 12 months prior to the survey.

Results

A total of 98 medical students from the Faculdade de Medicina do ABC, Brazil,were evaluated, being 81% women and 19% men, aged between 17 and 34 years, with a mean age of 21.92 years . Of these students, 90% considered themselves having high or very high stress, and 69% reported at least one episode of stress in the  month before the survey.
39% considered themselves to be tired or very tired, and 86% slept less than 8 hours per night on average, with 40% restful sleep. On the other hand , 75% considered having a good memory and only 22.4% were sedentary.
The salivary cortisol tests corroborated the data of  stress levels from the questionnaires.

Conclusions

The results of the salivary cortisol analysis and questionnaires evidenced the high level of stress that medical students present and adequate strategies should be developed to mitigate this problem.