Stress and the pediatric dental resident: Contributing factors and coping mechanisms
LaQuia A Vinson1, Julie Quinn Nies2, James E Jones1, Angela M Tomlin3, Richard D Jackson4, Brian J Sanders1
1 Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Indiana University School of Dentistry, James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
2 Private Practice, Dover, Delaware, USA
3 Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
4 Department of Cariology, Operative Dentistry, and Public Health, Indiana University School of Dentistry, James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Dr. LaQuia A Vinson
705, Riley Hospital Drive, #4205, Indianapolis, IN 46202
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Aims: The purpose of this study was to determine self-reported stress levels and coping mechanisms utilized by current pediatric dental residents to generate recommendations to program directors.
Subjects and Methods: A 26-question online survey was completed by 250 current United States and Canadian pediatric dental residents and summarized using frequencies and percentages.
Statistical Analysis Used: Relationships between various factors and stress levels were evaluated separately using Mantel-Haenszel Chi-square tests for ordered categorical responses. Relationships between various factors and depressive symptoms were evaluated separately using Pearson Chi-square tests. All test were performed with a significance level of P = 0.05.
Results: Forty percent of respondents report their stress level as high or medium-high. Stress levels were individually related to gender, academic demands, clinical demands, sleep factors, and hours per week devoted to the residency program. The most common coping mechanisms employed include exercise or sports (68%), television (66%), and socializing (62%).
Conclusions: Prospective applicants should recognize the potential for additional stressors that present when one enters into a postgraduate training program; current residents should monitor their stress levels and employ healthy coping mechanisms. Program directors should be cognizant of lifestyle burdens encountered as a resident, evaluate stress levels at timely intervals, and refer to appropriate health and wellness assistance programs as necessary.