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Perception of academic stress among Health Science Preparatory Program students in two Saudi universities

Authors Alsulami S, Al Omar Z, Binnwejim MS, Alhamdan F, Aldrees A, Al-bawardi A, Alsohim M, Alhabeeb M

Received 3 June 2017

Accepted for publication 26 September 2017

Published 12 March 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 159—164

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S143151

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder


Saleh Alsulami, Zaid Al Omar, Mohammed S Binnwejim, Fahad Alhamdan, Amr Aldrees, Abdulkarim Al-bawardi, Meshary Alsohim, Mohammed Alhabeeb

Departments of Family Medicine and Medical Education, College of Medicine, Imam Mohammad ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Abstract: The Health Science Preparatory Program (HSPP) is a special program that aims to enhance the educational preparedness of students for participation in a health sciences career. Students spend their first university year in a combined extensive teaching program before they can be assigned to a particular health science specialty. It is thought that students enrolled in a highly competitive environment such as HSPP with a long list of potential stressors, including developmental, academic overload, language barriers and competition, are more disposed to stress and stress-related complications. This study aims to measure the level of academic stress and to determine its risk factors in students enrolled in HSPP-adapted local universities in Saudi Arabia. The study was conducted at two Saudi universities, King Saud University (KSU) and Imam Mohammad ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSU) with competition-based and non-competition-based HSPP learning models, respectively. Both universities adopt the HSPP system. The scale for assessing academic stress (SAAS) was used to assess students’ perceived stress. A total of 290 students successfully completed the questionnaire (N=290), with a mean age of 18.66 years. Mean SAAS scores for KSU and IMSU students were 8.37 (SD = 4.641) and 7.97 (SD = 5.104), P=0.480, respectively. Only “satisfaction” and “associated social and health problems” have shown statistically significant correlation with university (P=0.000 and P=0.049, respectively). This study has found mean SAAS score for two local universities with competition-based versus non-competition-based HSPP learning models. Academic stress correlation with age, gender and universities was discussed, and valuable future work guidance was recommended.

Keywords: academic stress, HSPP, competition, stress mediators, SAAS score

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