International journal of medical education 2017 05 248() 179-186 pii ijme.8.179186
To measure the occurrence and levels of depression, anxiety and stress in undergraduate dental students using the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21).
This cross-sectional study was conducted in November and December of 2014. A total of 289 dental students were invited to participate, and 277 responded, resulting in a response rate of 96%. The final sample included 247 participants. Eligible participants were surveyed via a self-reported questionnaire that included the validated DASS-21 scale as the assessment tool and questions about demographic characteristics and methods for managing stress.
Abnormal levels of depression, anxiety and stress were identified in 55.9%, 66.8% and 54.7% of the study participants, respectively. A multiple linear regression analysis revealed multiple predictors: gender (for anxiety b=-3.589, p=.016 and stress b=-4.099, p=.008), satisfaction with faculty relationships (for depression b=-2.318, p=.007; anxiety b=-2.213, p=.004; and stress b=-2.854, p<.001), satisfaction with peer relationships (for depression b=-3.527, p<.001; anxiety b=-2.213, p=.004; and stress b=-2.854, p<.001), and dentistry as the first choice for field of study (for stress b=-2.648, p=.045). The standardized coefficients demonstrated the relationship and strength of the predictors for each subscale. To cope with stress, students engaged in various activities such as reading, watching television and seeking emotional support from others. Conclusions
The high occurrence of depression, anxiety and stress among dental students highlights the importance of providing support programs and implementing preventive measures to help students, particularly those who are most susceptible to higher levels of these psychological conditions.