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South African Dental Journal

versão On-line ISSN 0375-1562
versão impressa ISSN 0011-8516


BHAYAT, A  e  MADIBA, TK. The self-perceived sources of stress among dental students at a South African Dental School and their methods of coping. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2017, vol.72, n.1, pp.6-10. ISSN 0375-1562.

INTRODUCTION: Dental students have reported that, as a result of the nature of the dental curriculum, they are under severe stress while studying. AIM: to determine how students perceived the sources of stress and to identify the coping mechanisms used. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional analytical study using a standardized self-administered questionnaire. All dental students registered in 2015 were invited to participate. All data was secured as confidential and anonymous. RESULTS: Responses were received from 224 students (74%, of whom 26% were male). One third of responding males and 45% of responding females reported severe levels of stress. Clinical students reported a significantly higher (p=0.002) prevalence of severe stress over non-clinical students. The most common causes of severe stress were fear of failure (47%) and high workload (38%). The coping mechanisms included sleeping (64%) and watching television (55%). More than a quarter contemplated changing from Dentistry as a result of their perceived stress. Those who reported having severe stress were 1.8 and 2.1 times more likely to quit Dentistry or to commit suicide. CONCLUSION: Females and clinical students reported higher levels of severe stress. Those with severe stress were significantly more likely to contemplate quitting Dentistry or suicide.

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