Self-reported psychological problems amongst undergraduate dental students: A pilot study in seven European countries
AuthorStangvaltaite-Mouhat, Lina; Pūrienė, Alina; Chałas, Renata; Hysi, Dorjan; Katrova, Lydia; Nacaite, Marija; Nikolovska, Julijana; Oancea, Roxana; Berlin, Vilija
Materials and Methods - A total of 1063 3rd‐ and 5th‐year dental students (response rate 70%) participated in this pilot study and completed a pre‐tested, structured questionnaire, which collected information on sociodemographic characteristics and self‐reported psychological problems. Data were analysed by bivariate and multivariate methods.
Results - The majority of participants were female and were younger than male participants. Most participants, though more females than males, agreed that the clinical work of dentistry was psychologically difficult. Almost half of participants felt nervous before working with patients (N = 506, 48%) and experienced a lot of stress whilst working with patients (N = 488, 46%); almost one‐third (N = 287, 27%) felt anxious/worried after working with patients. Being a 3rd‐ and 4th‐year student (vs 5th‐year) reduced the odds for anxiety after working with patients; being a 3rd‐year student (vs 5th‐year) increased the odds for stress whilst working with patients. Studying in countries other than Norway reduced the odds for stress whilst working with patients. Less than good self‐perceived health, presence of psychological health complaints before starting dental education, female gender and lack of physical activity increased the odds for psychological problems.
Conclusion - A high number of undergraduate dental students reported psychological problems in connection with clinical work. It is unlikely that “one size fits all”; therefore, further qualitative investigations on stressors in clinical learning environments should be done in order to design tailor‐made supportive strategies.