LEVELS OF DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, AND STRESS AND THEIR ASSOCIATION WITHTHE CLINICAL TRAINING PHASE AMONGST UNDERGRADUATE DENTAL STUDENTS
The purpose of this study is to assess the levels of depression, anxiety and stress and their association with the clinical training phase amongst undergraduate dental students. Method : All dental students in the 2019/2020 academic year at IIUM were included in the cross-sectional survey via voluntary sampling. Data was collected by using a self-administered questionnaire which consisted of demographic background (age, gender, year of study) and Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS-21) to collect data on the students’ levels of depression, anxiety and stress. Data collected was then analysed with SPSS. Results: A response rate of 83.2% (n=238) was obtained, where the respondents' age ranged from 19 to 26 years old. It is worrying to note that 46.2% of the students had depression, 60.9% had anxiety and 29.4% were stressed. There were no significant differences in the levels of depression, anxiety, and stress between the clinical phase and preclinical phase of studies amongst dental undergraduate students although this study found that there was a significant difference in the levels of depression between the Year 1 students and the Year 5 students and between the Year 1 students and the Year 2 students. There were no differences in levels of depression, anxiety and stress between male and female students. Conclusion: High report on depression, anxiety and stress amongst undergraduate dental students warrant prevention modalities and treatment strategies to help students better manage the stressors they have to face and to have a healthier professional future.
Acknowledgement: Ahmad Azmie Musa and Abu Hurairah Mohamad, for their contribution in data collection, Dr Mohamad Shafiq Mohd Ibrahim for his guidance on statistical analysis.