Stress due to exams in medical students--role of yoga

Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1999 Apr;43(2):218-24.


A student under optimal stress does bring out his or her best, However extremes of stress can result in stress induced disorders and deteriorating performance. Can yoga be of benefit in stress induced effects in medical students? The present study was conducted in first MBBS students (n = 50) to determine the benefit if any of yogic practices on anxiety status during routine activities and prior to examination. Feedback scores were assessed to determine how the students had benefited from the practices. Anxiety status as assessed by Spillberger's anxiety scale showed a statistically significant reduction following practice. In addition the anxiety score which rose prior to exams showed a statistically significant reduction on the day of exam after practice. These results point to the beneficial role of yoga in not only causing reduction in basal anxiety level but also attenuating the increase in anxiety score in stressful state such as exams. The results of the exam indicated a statistically significant reduction in number of failures in yoga group as compared to the control group. The improvement in various parameters such as better sense of well being, feeling of relaxation, improved concentration, self confidence, improved efficiency, good interpersonal relationship, increased attentiveness, lowered irritability levels, and an optimistic outlook in life were some of the beneficial effects enjoyed by the yoga group indicated by feedback score.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Educational Measurement
  • Feedback
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • Yoga / psychology*