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Perceived Stress, Stressors, and Mental Distress Among Doctor of Pharmacy Students

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We conducted an online survey to assess stress levels, stressors, coping strategies, and mental distress among first year professional Doctor of Pharmacy students at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. We used the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS10) to measure perceived stress and the Health-related Quality of Life Scale (HRQOL-14) to assess physical and mental health. Self-reported stress levels among our respondents were elevated, significantly higher than among other populations as reported in previous studies, and exceeded the threshold benchmarked as being unhealthy. Mental health scores were negatively correlated with stress levels, exceeded the threshold for frequent mental distress, and were significantly higher than in comparison groups as reported in previous studies. Examinations were ranked the most stressful events and spending time with family ranked as the most effective stress reliever. Further specific investigation is needed to identify probable contributors to distress and to solicit recommendations to help students alleviate their stress and strengthen their mental health.

Keywords: COPING STRATEGIES; DOCTOR OF PHARMACY STUDENTS; MENTAL DISTRESS; MENTAL HEALTH; PERCEIVED STRESS; STRESSORS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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