Effect of stress on academic performance in medical students--a cross sectional study

Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2014 Jan-Mar;58(1):81-6.


Introduction: Stress, a universal phenomenon, affects an individual's productivity either by increasing it ('eustress') or decreasing it ('distress'). It is widely acknowledged that the medical fraternity is predisposed to enormous stress. The same may be true for the budding medicos- the undergraduate medical students. In our study we attempted to identify situations that predisposed the medical students to stress and their effects on academic performance and to suggest certain coping mechanisms.

Objectives: firstly to explore common sources of stress in medical students, secondly to establish correlation of stress, gender, attendance, and academic performance if any.

Method: 114 medical undergraduates were assessed for the common sources of stress and the level of stress using semi structured Performa and stress scale. The results were compared and correlated with various variables like attendance, demographic factors, average marks etc. Pearson correlation coefficient was used for statistical correlation amongst different variables.

Results & conclusions: Stress shows beneficial effects in females when compared to males. High attendance and better day to day performance in female medical students was associated with more amount of stress when compared to male students. Thus, stress among medical students should be acknowledged and attempts should be made to alleviate it.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Achievement*
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Students, Medical / psychology*