Student Life Stress and Health Related Quality of Life

Abstract

The aim of the research is to investigate the correlation between health problems and quality of life among medical students and impact on stress on their health. It is supposed that the quality of life can be positively improved, if the stress in the lives of medical students is reduced, and this positive change in the life will lead to positive academic and emotional results. The population will consist of medical students and a random sampling method will be used to determine the sample.

Their quality of life as well as academic achievements will provide the variables of study. The research will be based on compassion of pre-college health histories of the students and their health problems after they enrolled. Data will be collected through the personal interviews, surveys using questionnaire etc, participant and non-participant observation. Statistical methods of analysis will be used. It is expected to find that academic environment is the main cause of stress among medical students.

Problem Statement and Research Question

Stress is one of the main problem s affected medical students today. Education -elated stressors covered problems such as performance pressure, nervousness about tests, and poor grades. In this case, family-related stressors are ranked in fourth place for all events mentioned and covered a wide range of issues such as communication problems, limitations of individual autonomy, obligations to comply with parental demands, and so on.

Compared to relationship and social stressors, only a few authors have included education-related problems or future=related daily hassles as salient events that adolescents must cope with. Being the dean of students’ services in a medical college, I feel that my moral obligation is to examine and evaluate the problems of the students community who face the potential risk of stress.

The research questions identified during the first stage are: “Can the quality of life of medical students be improved if the stress in their lives is reduced?” “Will the students benefit from this improved quality of life? If so, how?” Because the majority of stressful events, even those stemming from domains such as “education” entailed relationship stressors, a precise analysis of parameters such as frequency, perceived stressfulness and predictability may further help in discriminating between these stressors and in determining subsequent coping responses (Stewe, 2004).

Literature Review

Current studies examine and investigate the problem of stress among medical students and its causes. In the research study “Assessment of Stress in Physician Assistant Students”, Kuhn (2005) discusses and analyzes stress-related factors and possible coping strategies. If stressful situations are not prevented, it may lead to depression and anxiety, communication problems and drug abuse. A survey method was used to gather data and evaluate the problem.

Thus, the stressful events named covered a wide range that closely paralleled the variety of stressors. Again, most of the events entailed an interpersonal problem. Previous studies on stressful minor events have mainly focused on two different stressors: academic events and social events. After analysis and evaluation of 27 surveys, the author comes to conclusion that there is a need to counsel and educate medical students how to prevent stressful events and reduce amount of stress.

The article “The Impact of Student Life Stress on Health Related Quality of Life among Doctor of Pharmacy Students” by G. V. Gupchup (2004) examines the impact of stress on health and well-being of medical students. The authors examined 166 students’ histories during the three years of study. they found that the types of stressors were also highly relevant in previous studies. A very important area was “self,” which encompassed such issues as difficulties in controlling emotions, depressive or aggressive moods, defiance, nervousness, as well as dissatisfaction with one’s own appearance and behavior. The authors concluded that it is crucial for administration and educators to reduce health-related stressors caused by medical training and curriculum overload.

The research made by Krishnan and Sweeney (1998) analyses gender differences and impact of stress on male and female students. Concerning gender differences in dealing with events, it is surprising that the affects shown in all groups were more specific in girls and more diffuse in boys. Female actions were clearly limited to compromise-related, submissive, and conforming behaviors, whereas the male adolescents launched more independent initiatives and were able to assert themselves in the face of resistance shown by interaction partners. The study proves that there are no gender differences between male and female medical students, thus female students spend more time studding which help them reduce the amount of stress caused by low grades and curriculum overload.

Hypothesis Statement

The quality of life can be positively improved, if the stress in the lives of medical students is reduced, and this positive change in the life will lead to positive academic and emotional results. It is supposed that stress is closely related to and influences the quality of life. Greater the stress worse will be the quality of life of medical students.

Sample

Sample size will consist of students from medical college. Random sampling technique will be used to determine the sample size. The practical problem is, of course, quite the opposite: it calls for inferring (or guessing, or estimating) features of the population from knowledge of a single sample. This problem is not trivial, because the same sample might arise in sampling from many different populations. We are turning from deduction to inference. We will have a single random sample (y 1,… y )′ drawn from a population Y ~ f(y).

We are interested in some feature of the population, a parameter θ, say. Our task is to find an estimate of θ, a single number that will serve as our guess of the value of the parameter. Naturally the estimate will be a function of the sample data. Now the sample y = (y,…, y )′ is a single observation on the random vector Y = (y,… y )′. For a function h(y), the estimate that we calculate, t = h(y…, y ), will be a single observation on the random variable T = h(Y ). The random variable T is referred to as the estimator, as distinguished from the value t that it happens to take on, which is the estimate (Laurel and Lunenfeld 2003).

Human subject issues

Acceptability of psychological interventions is also important from a legal and ethical standpoint in establishing the social validation of a technique and in understanding individual needs. The researcher will follow strict moral and ethical guidelines and take into account confidentiality and privacy issues. Though our research may be small scale it has to involve some legality in that we may require parental/guidance or the institution administration consent especially in cases involving students whose health records show that they have in one way or the other suffered from stress related diseases as they form a crucial part of the study. Parents of such respondents have to be contacted before initialization of the research and necessary arrangements made plus the explanation of the whole business (Laurel and Lunenfeld 2003).

Conceptualization and Operationalization

The dependent variable is the acceptability rating for each consultation scenario. The strengths of this study are that it is true experimental design and has random assignment of teachers the four groups. Theoretically, then, this design controls for all threats internal validity. history, maturation, testing, instrumentation, regression, selection, mortality, and interaction of selection maturation. The variables in the research will include the students of the medical college, where I work as the dean of students’ services. The performance of the students who are affected by academic stress will be used as variables for the study. Their quality of life as well as academic achievements will provide the variables of study (Laurel and Lunenfeld 2003).

Research Design

The research will be based on comparison of two sets of data: the first set of data will refer to pre-college years and health conditions; the second set of data will involve students’ medical history after they enrolled. The studies of psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe prove the idea that there is a close correlation between stress and performance in medical related studies. The 5-level scale will be used ti determine and evaluate the level of stress. The weaving and sifting of categories of variables to formulate the relationships among them allows for, at least, a claim of subjectivity on the part of the researched.

Data Collection

Data will be collected through the personal interviews, surveys using questionnaire etc, participant and non-participant observation etc. These samples will be used for analysis and research findings. Structured interviews an can be subjected to validity checks similar to those used in evaluating questionnaires. The interview schedule (list of questions) or interview guide is created to direct the interview on a path consistent with the purpose.

Diversity of opinion exists about the leeway a researcher may use with the interview guide. Interviewing can be made a more valid technique in several ways. First, when structured, the questions can be checked against the objectives of the study. Second, a high level of interviewer training increases validity. Third, having several interviewers randomly assigned to subjects reduces error by spreading bias throughout the sample. Fourth, checking for consistency across subjects increases reliability, which adds to validity Fifth, debriefing the interviewers after data collection also can help increase validity. In this process the researcher is able to check for interviewer bias and consider its effects on the interviewer’s findings (Laurel and Lunenfeld 2003).

Data Analysis

Data collected and results formed in grounded theory can be made more valid by use of the aforementioned alterations to observational techniques. Desriptive statistics will be used to analyze the data. It is immediately apparent that beginning with a hypothesis at the outset of data collection violates the first and most important assumption of this method. Yet the initial-coding stage and the focused-coding stage of the process are not unlike an empirical researcher’s coding of open-ended questions. This similarity reveals an area of overlap in qualitative and quantitative methods. A common process for the empirical researcher is to collect responses on a questionnaire, review all responses to a particular inquiry, and then categorize them. The resulting categories are then used as categorical variables in a statistical analysis (Laurel and Lunenfeld 2003).

Discussion

It is expected to find that medical education structure has a great impact on students’ health and life quality. The health-related problems can be minimized if the stress in lives of medical students is reduced, Adolescence is a developmental period in which the individual is confronted with a series of complex and interrelated changes and events that have to be mastered, while at the same time dramatic changes in relationships with parents and friends occur.

Of special relevance, therefore, is the way adolescents cope with these stressors and their subsequent adaptation. The limitations of the study involve subjectivity of observation methods and narrow sample size (Stewe, 2004).We have to consider that there is considerable controversy about several issues that are crucial to the formulation of a comprehensive theory of adolescent coping. There is much confusion about the definition of central constructs of stress and coping, the overall “stressfulness” of this developmental period, and the underlying mechanisms that contribute to adaptive coping. It

References

Gupchup, G. V., Borrego, M. E., Konduri, N. (2004). The Impact of Student Life Stress on Health Related Quality of Life among Doctor of Pharmacy Students. College Student Journal, 38 (2), 292.

Krishnan, A., Sweeney, A. Ch. (1998). Gender Differences in Fear of Success Imagery and Other Achievement-Related Background Variables among Medical Students. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 39 (3-4), p. 299-305.

Kuhn, L. (2005). Assessment of Stress in Physician Assistant Students. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 32 (2), 167.

Laurel, B., Lunenfeld, P. (2003). Design Research: Methods and Perspectives. The MIT Press.

Stewe, K. (2004). Relationship between stress and medical related sicknesses in medical Students, New York: McGraw Hill, pp 34-90.