Psychological stress in undergraduate dental students: Baseline results from seven European dental schools

Humphris, G. and Blinkhorn, A. and Freeman, R. and Gorter, R. and Hoad-Reddick, G. and Murtomaa, H. and O'Sullivan, R. and Splieth, C. (2002) Psychological stress in undergraduate dental students: Baseline results from seven European dental schools. European Journal of Dental Education, 6 (1). pp. 22-29. ISSN 13965883 (ISSN)

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Objectives: To determine the degree of psychological distress, the experience of emotional exhaustion, and the extent of stress associated with course work in dental students and to compare these measurements among seven European dental schools. Design: Multi-centred survey. Setting: Dental Schools at Amsterdam, Belfast, Cork, Greifswald, Helsinki, Liverpool and Manchester. Participants: 333 undergraduate first-year dental students. Measures: General Health Questionnaire (GHQ12), Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Dental Environment Stress Questionnaire (DES), demographic variables. Procedure: Questionnaire administered to all students attending first year course. Completed questionnaires sent to central office for processing. Results: Seventy-nine percent of the sampled students responded. Over a third of the students (36%) reported significant psychological distress (morbidity) at the recommended cut-off point (>3 on GHQ). These scores were similar to those reported for medical undergraduates. Twenty-two percent recorded comparatively high scores on emotional exhaustion. A wide variation in these 2 measurements was found across schools (p's<0.001). Stress levels indicated by the DES were less variable (p>0.5). Some evidence showed that contact with patients and the level of support afforded by living at home may be protective. Conclusion: Higher than expected levels of emotional exhaustion were found in a large sample of first-year undergraduate dental students in Europe. © Munksgaard, 2002.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Cited By :57; Export Date: 23 February 2015; Correspondence Address: Humphris, G.; Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Liverpool, Whelan Building Quadrangle, Liverpool L69 3GB, United Kingdom; email:; References: Cooper, C.L., Watts, J., Kelly, M., Job satisfaction, mental health, and job stressors among general dental practitioners in the UK (1987) British Dental Journal, 162, pp. 77-81; Kent, G., Stress amongst dentists (1987), In: Firth-Cozens J, Payne R. (eds). Stress in health professionals. 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Uncontrolled Keywords: Burnout; Dental students; Mental health; Stress; adolescent; adult; analysis of variance; article; chi square distribution; clinical trial; comparative study; curriculum; demography; dental education; dental student; emotional disorder; Europe; female; human; human relation; male; mental stress; multicenter study; occupational disease; patient; questionnaire; social environment; social support; statistics; Affective Symptoms; Burnout, Professional; Chi-Square Distribution; Education, Dental; Humans; Interpersonal Relations; Occupational Diseases; Patients; Questionnaires; Residence Characteristics; Stress, Psychological; Students, Dental
Depositing User: Colin Lowry
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2015 09:51

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