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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 67-71

Perceived sources of stress among Palestinian dental students: A descriptive cross-sectional study

1 Department of Operative Dentistry, Al-Quds University, Jerusalem, Palestine
2 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Prosthodontics, The Arab American University, Jenin, Palestine

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Tarek H Rabi
Al-Quds University, Jerusalem,
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jeed.jeed_12_16

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Background: Dental education can be implicated with higher perceived levels of stress among dental students owing to the fastidious facet of the clinical and didactic dental curricula. Aim: The aim of the study was to identify the perceived sources of stress among dental students and to investigate specific stressors related to the gender and year of study. Materials and Methods: The students from the 2nd to 5th year of the dental school of Al-Quds University, Palestine, were invited to participate in the study. The Dental Environment Stress-30 questionnaire survey instrument was employed to conduct the survey among the students. Descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate methods were used to examine the patterns of association between individual stressors, factor scores, and students' characteristics. Results: One hundred and eighty-two students comprised the study's analytical sample, with two-thirds of those being female. A four-factor solution emerged and included “academic workload,” “clinical training,” “time constraints,” and “self-efficacy beliefs” factors. “Fear of failing a course or a year,” “examinations and grades,” and “lack of time for relaxation” were among the top individual-item stressors reported by students. Primary sources of stress in the dental students were an ambiguity in self-efficacy belief, workload, and performance pressure. Females reported higher perceived stress than males. Conclusion: Increased workload, time constraints, and some aspects of clinical training were the top stressors among the Palestinian dental undergraduates. This study emphasizes the need to implement a positive learning environment by employing strategies to combat the high levels of stress prevalent in dental schools.

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