Anxiety and sources of academic stress among students of health careers

Ansiedad y fuentes de estrés académico en estudiantes de carreras de la salud
Carlos Castillo Pimientaa, Tomás Chacón de la Cruza, Gabriela Díaz-Véliza

a Programa Farmacologìa Molecular y Clínica, Facultad de Medicina, Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile

Recibido el 29 de enero de 2016; aceptado el 10 de marzo de 2016

Palabras Clave

Ansiedad, Estrés académico, Fuentes de estrés, Carreras de la salud.

Keywords

Anxiety, Academic stress, Sources of stress, Health careers.

Abstract

Introduction: Several studies have found high levels of anxiety among health careers students, mainly in medical students.

Objective: To determine the levels of anxiety and identify potential sources of academic stress among 2nd year students of Schools of Nursing and Medical Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile.

Method: The State-Trait Anxiety Questionnaire and the Academic Stress Inventory were used to assess the level of anxiety and to discriminate different academic situations that induce stress in university students, respectively.

Results: Nursing students have higher levels of anxiety state and trait anxiety than Medical Technology students. A significantly different frequency was observed between both groups for anxiety state alone, in mild anxiety (Nursing 32.1% and Medical Technology 56.6%), and severe anxiety (Nursing 20.5% and Medical Technology 9.2%). Although sources of academic stress were similar for both groups, several of them were perceived as significantly major stressors for Nursing students. The three main academic stressful situations were: academic overload, lack of time to carry out academic activities, and taking exams.

Conclusions: Nursing students have high levels of anxiety. Their curriculum planning needs to be analysed, and counselling and workshops introduced in order to teach students on how to cope with stressful situations.