Stress management; result of two interventions: cognitive behavioral and yoga workshops to help irregular medical students

Manejo del estrés; resultado de dos intervenciones: cognitivo
conductual y yoga, en estudiantes irregulares de medicina

Silvia Ortiz Leóna, Elvira Sandoval Boschb, *, Solymar Adame Rivasc, Claudia Erika Ramírez Avilaa, Aurora Leonila Jaimes Medranoa, Arturo Ruiz Ruisánchezb

aDepartamento de Psiquiatría y Salud Mental, Facultad de Medicina, UNAM.
bDepartamento de Salud Pública, Facultad de Medicina, UNAM.
cCoordinación de Servicios a la Comunidad, Facultad de Medicina, UNAM

Recibido: 8-septiembre-2017. Aceptado: 27-febrero-2018.

* Autor para correspondencia: Elvira Sandoval Bosch. Correo electrónico:

Palabras Clave

Estrés; Taller cognitivo conductual; Yoga; Síntomas ansiosos y depresivos.


Stress; CBT; Yoga; Anxiety and depressive symptoms.


Introduction: Stress caused on medical students by the intense work they are exposed to during their studies, has a negative influence in some students which results in poor academic performance, anxiety and depressive symptoms. Psychological and yoga interventions have proved to be useful for reducing psychopathological symptoms, and in the development of physical and mental abilities.

Objective: To evaluate if psychological interventions based on a Cognitive Behavioral Workshop (CBW) and a Yoga Workshop (YW) diminish depressive, anxiety symptoms and stress in students of the Medicine Faculty at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Method: We conducted a randomized controlled clinical trial at the UNAM Medicine Faculty. Sampling type was done in accordance with the students who were retaking at least one of the first or second year curricular subjects. Beck’s inventories for anxiety (BAI) and depression (BDI) and the Novack profile were applied to select those individuals with a mild severity level. Selection of the students was randomized for each one of the interventions.

Results: In both interventions there was a reduction of depressive and anxious symptoms (p<0.005). The Cognitive-behavioral workshop group also presented a reduction in the stress manifestations profile, suggesting that they achieved effective stress coping strategies, and managed to visualize stressors as challenges or problems to solve, confront and to focus on the positive aspects of themselves. In the yoga workshop group, there were statistically significant changes in the frequency of adequate rest, sleep, and relaxation.

Conclusions: It’s important to provide stress management strategies to medical students, in order to promote not only an overall wellness, and as health professionals in promoting healthy lifestyles.