Stress in Medical Students in a Problem-Based Learning Curriculum

Ahmad Dagistani, Fawwaz Al Hejaili, Salih Binsalih, Hamdan Al Jahdali, Abdulla Al Sayyari





This study aims to assess stress level and its drivers among medical students using a PBL teaching system


Higher Education Stress Inventory (HESI,) was used to assess stress among medical students.  . All students in the College of Medicine were enrolled.


The response rate was 99%.The prevalence of stress was 54.7%. The overall mean stress score was higher in the 4th year students (2.64) than 1st year students (2.52) (p= 0.01).

Junior   students were more likely to be stressed by lack of clarity of the aims of the study (p=0.014) and lack of feedback from the teachers (p=0.003). Senior   students were more likely to be stressed by lack of time for other activities (p=0.036), financial worries (p=0.027)) and about preparedness for future profession (p=0.007)

Despite the high stress scores, only 8.3% regretted their choice of career and 9.3 % felt that they   are not prepared   well for their future profession


High level of stress was noted especially among senior students. Stress in junior students was more likely to be medical training-related and   to be personal problems-related in senior students. The vast majority of students were happy with their choice of profession and optimistic about their future


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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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