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Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology
Year : 2018, Volume : 11, Issue : 6
First page : ( 2531) Last page : ( 2537)
Print ISSN : 0974-3618. Online ISSN : 0974-360X.
Article DOI : 10.5958/0974-360X.2018.00467.5

Prevalence of Stress and Associated Stressors among Medical Students: A Comparative Study between a Private and Public Medical School in Malaysia

Masilamani Retneswari1,*, Aung Myat Moe Thwe2, Bhagat Vidya2, Bakar Aini Abu1, Soon Tung Him1, Yao Lim Chee1, Hui Ng Jia1, Ning Low Zhen1

1Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. UCSI University, Bukit Khor, 21600, Marang, Terengganu. Malaysia

2Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Sultan Zainal Abidin. Kampus Kota, Jalan Sultan Mahmud, 20400, Kuala Terengganu. Malaysia

*Corresponding Author E-mail: retnes@gmail.com

Online published on 24 August, 2018.


Stress among medical students has been well documented as a significant problem. The objective of this study is to compare the stress levels and its associated stressors between public and private university medical students. A cross-sectional study design was carried out using universal sampling in both University Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) (245) and UCSI University (315) medical students year 1–5, from 2015 till 2016. Data was collected using a self-administered questionnaire including sociodemography, Medical Student Stress Questionnaire and General Health Questionnaire. Data entry and analysis were done using SPSS version 20.0 software. The studies reported a mean age of 23.02 years (SD 1.78) and 21.8 years (SD 1.50) at UCSI University and UniSZA respectively. UCSI University had majority Chinese medical students (52.1%) while UniZSA had majority (66.5) Malay medical students. The stress prevalence was 42.2% and 33.1% among UCSI University and UniZSA medical students respectively. UCSI University had a higher mean stress score of 4.66 (SD 3.4) compared to UniZSA 2.91 (SD 2.98), which was statistically different (p<0.001). Both universities reported Academic and Group Activity related stressors as of high severity. Multiple logistic regression models showed that Academic Related Stressors (ARS), Social Related Stressors (SRS) and Group Activity Related Stressors (GARS) were significant predictors of stress levels among UCSI University medical students while Academic Related Stressors (ARS) and Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Related Stressors (IRS) were significant predictors of stress among UniSZA medical students. Private university students reported higher stress prevalence compared to the government university but both university students documented similar (Academic and Group Related) stressors as of high severity. Academic related stressors were reported by both universities to be significantly associated with stress. Review of the academic curriculum to reduce stress, student support groups and stress management programme-Medical Student Well-being Workshops, to inculcate good inter and intrapersonal cum teamwork skills are highly recommended.



Medical students, stress, stressors, public university, private university.


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