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Prevalence, factors associated and coping strategies of stress among pharmacy students in a public university in Malaysia

Pharmacy & Pharmacology International Journal
Abhirami Kalaithasan,1,2 Sok Cin Tye,3 Fatimatuzzahra’ Abd. Aziz,1 Balamurugan Tangiisuran1,4

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The study assesses the prevalence, factors associated with stress and the coping strategies among undergraduate pharmacy students in Universiti Sains Malaysia. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 345 undergraduate pharmacy students over a period of two weeks. Stress was assessed using the previously validated Perceived Stress Scale (PSS10). A questionnaire consisting of 34 items was used to assess the stress factors and coping strategies. The prevalence of stress among undergraduate pharmacy students was relatively high (62.3%), especially among the first- and third-year students. Pressure to maintain good grades, continuous assessments, lecturers’ teaching approaches, high number of subjects and credit hours, timetable/study schedule, extracurricular activities, financial problem, lack of leisure time, family and peer related problems, homesickness, difficulty in time management, sleep deprivation, lack of physical exercise, unhealthy eating pattern, accommodation or transport problem, feeling lonely and excess gadget usage were the factors found to be significantly associated with stress. Meditation, yoga or taichi and emotional eating were among the common stress coping strategies. Almost twothird of the pharmacy students were categorised as stress which were mainly contributed by continuous assessments and examinations. Effective time management with a balance between academic and regular exercise reported as coping strategies.


stress, undergraduate, pharmacy student, strategies, Malaysia