Dominyka Šilaitė 1, Lolita Šileikienė 2, Augustė Šilaitė 1
1 LSMU Medical Academy, Faculty of Medicine
2 LSMU Faculty of Public Health, Department of Preventive Medicine, Institute of Cardiology, Laboratory of Population Studies
Introduction. The COVID-19 pandemic had a severe impact on the psychological state of medical students. Difficult online studies, anxiety about the future, and quarantine restrictions affected academic performance and also caused a lot of stress. The aim of this study is to find out the stress level of LSMU medical final year students, its interaction with the symptoms of health disorders, to investigate the influence of COVID-19 on students’ lives and the relationship with the experienced stress level.
Methodology. The epidemiological cross-sectional study was performed. We analyzed the data obtained from LSMU 6th year medical students who responded to the anonymous online survey. This study assesses the level of stress experienced by students (using PSS) and manifestation of stress, analyses health symptoms and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as a stressor. Data analysis was performed using SPSS 188.8.131.52.0 compilation and analysis software and MS Excel 2016 program.
Results. 65 LSMU 6th year medical students were studied. The average PSS score was 23,32±6,91. 49.2% of students experience COVID-19 stressor “very often” and “often”. There was a positive correlation between the frequency of experienced COVID-19 stressor and stress (p=0.003, rs=0.366). 47.7% of students experience anxiety “very often” and “often”. There were statistically significant (p <0.05) positive correlations between stress level and health symptoms, the strongest relationship is between anxiety and stress (rs = 0.711, p <0.001).
Conclusions. The level of stress experienced by LSMU final year medical students is average. Many students experience anxiety during the pandemic. 49.2% of students experience stress due COVID-19 “very often” and “often”. The more frequently COVID-19 stressor is experienced, the higher stress level is determined (p=0.003, rs=0.366). 47.7% of sixth-year students experienced anxiety “very often” and “often”. Anxiety had the strongest effect on stress levels compared to other health symptoms (rs = 0.711, p <0.001).
Keywords: stress, medical students, COVID-19.