A comparative study of stress among students of medicine, engineering, and nursing

Indian J Psychol Med. 2011 Jul;33(2):145-8. doi: 10.4103/0253-7176.92064.


Background: In today's ultra competitive environment, students face more stress than ever - be it related to studies, examination, peer, teachers or parent's pressure. Stress is the "wear and tear" our bodies experience as we adjust to our continually changing environment. On one hand, stress compels us to action. However, it can result in feelings of rejection, anger, and depression, leading to health problems such as headaches, upset stomach rashes, insomnia, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

Materials and methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey of 100 randomly selected students each from Medical College Engineering College and 50 Nursing College was done. For reliability, anonymity and confidentiality were maintained. Stress was measured by using stress measurement scale having 24 Yes/No questions. The questionnaire was in English and Hindi so that language would not be problem.

Results: Stress as an entity is universally present among students of all three streams, irrespective of age, sex, and other variables. Students in all three streams have shown denial to existence of problems, with maximum among nursing students. Medical and Engineering students had stress level of such a degree that requires clinical attention, while none of the nursing students belonged to this category.

Conclusions: There is attitude among students of turning a blind eye toward existing stress which is a serious problem and may be harbinger of serious mental and psychosocial problems.

Keywords: Profession; stress; students.