PRE-EXAMINATION STRESS IN SECOND YEAR MEDICAL STUDENTS IN A GOVERNMENT COLLEGE
AbstractBackground: Pre-examination Stress is a common condition faced by students prior to exams and isquite predominant among medical students. Many studies have been conducted to assess the impact ofstress on students prior to examinations. This study however aims to determine the behavioural andphysiological changes occurring in the second year medical students during the pre-examination period.Methods: Questionnaires were distributed among students to review the changes that occurred in medicalstudents related to their behaviour, physical activities and functions just before exams. Duration of studywas two months from October-November, 2009. The questionnaire was divided into two parts. The firstpart contained demographic information about the patient, the second part contained opinions of studentsexperiencing pre-examination stress. SPSS was used for data management and approval from the EthicalReview Board of Dow University of Health Sciences was obtained before starting the research. Results:The data for this study was collected from 226 students of 2nd year MBBS, Dow Medical College,Karachi on specially designed questionnaires. Among the 226 students 22.1% were male while 77.9%were female with mean age 20±1 years. Changes observed in pre-examination period included anorexia,nausea, fatigue (54.87%), changed concentration span (80.09%), increased irritability (68.14%), moodswings (50.88%), disturbed menstrual cycle (15.91%), disturbed sleep cycle (80.97%), increased intake ofcaffeine/energy drinks (38.94%), disturbed metabolism (46.02%), aggravated skin problems such as acne(12.83%). Among the 226 students 42.04% did regular exercise and 76.12% prayed regularly. Both ofthese factors helped them in coping with stress. Conclusion: Majority included in our researchexperienced stress prior to exams but the signs and symptoms varied greatly. Irritability, increased intakeof caffeine/energy drinks, and disturbed sleep cycle seemed to dominate physiological and behaviouralchanges in the pre-examination period.Keywords: Behavioural changes, Physiological changes, Pre examination period, Medical students
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