Objectives: To examine stress and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among third-year doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students.
Methods: Stress and HRQOL were determined using Perceived Stress and SF-12 HRQOL survey instruments. A questionnaire was administered to determine factors students believed produced and eliminated stress.
Results: Eighty percent of third-year students participated (n=109) in this pilot study. Mental HRQOL scores were significantly below US mean score for individuals aged 20-34 years (p<0.0001). As stress increased, mental HRQOL decreased and a significant negative correlation was found between the 2 measures (p<0.001). Family and relationships, examinations and scheduling, outside-of-class assignments, and finances were the most common stress triggers reported by students, while exercising, spending time with friends/family, sleeping, watching TV, and drinking alcohol were the most commonly reported stress-alleviating activities.
Conclusion: Third-year PharmD students reported relatively high levels of stress and low mental HRQOL. Students employed mostly positive, but some negative, lifestyle choices to alleviate stress. Further investigation into the effectiveness of students' coping strategies is needed.
Keywords: doctor of pharmacy students; emotional health; health-related quality of life; mental health.