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Causes of Stress and Coping Strategies Adopted by Undergraduate Health Professions Students in a University in the United Arab Emirates

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Author(s): Kadayam G. Gomathi | Soofia Ahmed | Jayadevan Sreedharan

Journal: Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal : SQUMJ
ISSN 2075-051X

Volume: 13;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 430;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Stress | Psychological | Health Professions | Medical Education | undergraduate | Coping Behavior | United Arab Emirates.

ABSTRACT
Objectives: This study aimed to compare causes of stress and coping strategies adopted by a sample of undergraduate health-profession students at the Gulf Medical University, United Arab Emirates. Methods: An anonymous voluntary questionnaire-based survey was conducted, from January to July 2011, among first- and second-year medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and physiotherapy students (N = 212) to identify causes of stress. Coping strategies were studied using the Brief COPE Inventory. Results: Worries regarding the future (54.2%) and parental expectations (40.1%) were the major stressors. Poor diet (36.8%) and a lack of exercise (36.3%) were also reported to cause stress. Students used multiple strategies, mainly religion/praying (74.5%), planning (70.5%) and taking action (70.5%) to cope with stress. There were no significant differences observed in the stressors or coping strategies between genders or programmes. First-year students (62.5%) relied on emotional support significantly more (P
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