Open J Psychiatry Allied Sci. 2020 Aug 3. [Epub ahead of print]

Personality and coping styles in medical internees: a cross-sectional study.

Kulkarni H, CY S, Begum S.

Abstract

Background and aims: Medical education is an elaborate course requiring knowledge assimilation, skill development, and academic perfection. Emerging out of the course successfully is a strenuous process which tests students’ psychological domains like personality, coping skills, and so on. The present study was planned with this primary objective of assessing the personality traits, psychoactive-substance use, and coping skills in the medical students and the secondary objective of finding the impact of personality and psychoactive-substance use on coping styles. Methods: The study was conducted on internees, recruited on individual approach over a period of one year. Ethical clearance was taken. Consenting candidates were administered sociodemographic proforma, the Eysenck Personality Inventory, and the coping checklist. Pearson’s correlation and independent t-test were used for analysis. Results: A total of 167 internees took part in study. On personality assessment, mean score of extraversion was 12.56 (±3.78) suggesting ambiversion and neuroticism was 9.36 (±4.89) suggesting mixed neurotic traits. Thirty four (20%) used psychoactive-substance. Problem-solving, distraction-positive, and acceptance-redefinition were frequently used coping styles. Extraversion correlated positively with distraction-negative (p<0.01) and negatively with acceptance-redefinition (p=0.03). Neuroticism had significant positive correlation with problem-solving (p=0.03), distraction-positive (p<0.01), distraction-negative (p<0.01), faith-religion coping (p<0.001), and blame-denial coping (p<0.001). On gender-wise assessment, males used more of distraction-negative (p=0.02) and females used more of faith-religion coping styles (p=0.02). Psychoactive-substance users elaborated more of distraction-negative and less of acceptance-redefinition coping. Conclusion: Internees had ambiversion and mixed neurotic personality traits. Their personality and substance use had significant influence on the types of coping styles used. There is need of training to effectively manage stress using appropriate coping strategies based on their personality.

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