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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 188-196

Perceived stress and its correlates among medical trainees in Oman: A single-institution study


1 Department of Behavioural Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Al-Khoud, Muscat, Oman
2 Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Al-Khoud, Muscat, Oman
3 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Al-Massara Hospital, Wilayat Al Amerat, Muscat, Ministry of Health, Muscat, Oman
4 Department of Child Health, College of Medicine & Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

Correspondence Address:
Ph.D Samir Al-Adawi
P.O. Box 35, Al-Khoudh 123, Muscat
Oman
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/TPSY.TPSY_37_21

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Objectives: Medical students from several parts of the world have increasingly been reported to have higher rates of stress and distress. In this study, we intended to explore the prevalence of perceived stress, disordered eating, and poor quality and pattern of sleep among medical students in the Arabian Gulf country, Oman. The related objective was to explore the relationship between sociodemographic variables and the expression of perceived stress. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was conducted among medical students at the only national university in Oman. The outcome measures included perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale-10), disordered eating (Eating Attitudes Test-26), and the quality and pattern of sleep (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index). The study survey also included sociodemographic variables and risk factors. Results: We contacted 600 students, and 253 students responded (response rate = 42.2%) with a filled study survey. We found that 51.4% (n = 130) of the sample scored in the threshold of perceived stress, 16.2% showed disordered eating, and 79.1% displayed poor quality and disrupted pattern of sleep. The total sample comprised more females (73.1%) as compared to males (26.9%) at an average age of 22.0 ± 2.0 (mean ± standard deviation) years. More than 77% (n = 196) of them were senior students (year 4th–7th), and their average body mass index (BMI) was 23.6 ± 5.9) kg/m2. Twenty-five participants had a history of psychiatric illness. Among those with psychiatric illness, 7.5% (n = 19) were on regular psychotropic medications. In multivariate analysis, perceived stress was found to be significantly correlated with age (p < 0.01), years of study (p < 0.05), and poor quality and disrupted patterns of sleep (p < 0.001). Conclusion: This study was embarked upon to examine the risk factors related to perceived stress among medical students in Oman. The rates of perceived stress, disordered eating, and poor quality and disrupted pattern of sleep were to echo international trends among medical students. The factors that were found to be related to perceived stress included age, having completed less than four years of their medical education, and poor quality and disrupted pattern of sleep. In addition to laying the groundwork for further studies, this data can be used for the prevention and mitigation of poor mental health outcomes.


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