• Perceived Stress and Coping Methods in Pharmacy Students

      Slack, Marion; Acosta, Stefanie; Barnes, Valerie; College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona (The University of Arizona., 2010)
      OBJECTIVES: To determine the perceived level of stress pharmacy students experience related to academics and the methods they use to relieve that stress. METHODS: This was a descriptive cross-­‐sectional study. Questionnaires were administered to first, second, and third year University of Arizona College of Pharmacy students during regularly scheduled class time. Data on perceived level of stress, sources of stress, and methods of relieving stress were collected and analyzed. Data on average hours worked per week, marital status, number of children, age, gender, and number of professional organizations involved in were also collected. RESULTS: The stress survey was completed by a total of 182 students at the College of Pharmacy. The overall stress score was highest in the second year students, although the total score was relatively low (total score 18.7; p=0.04). The four items that resulted in the highest stress scores were exams and/or grades (stress score ≥ 2.1), amount of class material (stress score ≥ 1.8), financial responsibilities (stress score ≥ 1.8) and lack of free time (stress score ≥ 1.6). Stressful situations that the students felt the most during the semester were thinking about the things that they had to accomplish (score ≥ 3.2) and having to control the way they spend their time (score ≥ 2.6). Common stress relievers were spending time with family, friends and pets ( ≥ 27%), watching television or movies ( ≥ 22%) and exercising ( ≥ 17%). Of those students who exercised, >44% felt it helped relieve stress very much. CONCLUSIONS: Little difference in levels of stress was observed between the classes. Based on the results, pharmacy students at the University of Arizona do not appear to be excessively stressed. Spending time with family/friends/pets, watching TV/DVDs, and exercising were the most common ways of relieving stress.