Open J Psychiatry Allied Sci. 2017 Nov 11. [Epub ahead of print]

A cross-sectional comparative study of coping distress in medical and non-medical students.

BK SK, K JB, CN K.

Abstract

Background: Medical students undergo tremendous stress during their undergraduate course, maybe because of staying in the hostel, economic reasons, important course, the vast amount of information and skills that need to be acquired, expectations of family members, and competition. Objective: To study stress, alcohol use, ways of coping stress, and perceived social support in medical students in comparison with non-medical (engineering) students. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a medical and an engineering colleges at Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh, India from November 2012 to August 2013. One hundred and fifty medical and 150 engineering students were selected after randomised sampling and were administered Perceived Stress Scale, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, Multidimensional Perceived Social Support Scale, and Ways of Coping Questionnaire to assess psychological distress. Results: Medical students (72%) perceived more stress (moderate and high) compared to engineering students (56.7%), (p<0.05). The most frequently used coping strategy among medical students compared to engineering students was planful problem solving and accepting responsibility, while in engineering students it was seeking social support. Medical students compared to engineering students perceived higher social support from significant other, while it was family in engineering students. All students fell into the category of low risk of alcohol use. Conclusion: The medical students perceived more stress than engineering students. Both should be sensitised about ways of coping distress; if unable to manage them, advised to seek help from professionals. So that they can cope distress well that which can have positive influence on studies, examination results, and lifestyle.

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