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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 80-86

A cross-sectional examination of the relationship between approaches to learning and perceived stress among medical students in Malaysia

Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, Iskandar Puteri, Johor, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Alireza Behzadnia
Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, No. 1 Jalan Sarjana, Kota Ilmu, [email protected], Iskandar Puteri, 79200 Johor
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/efh.EfH_280_17

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Background: Learning approaches have been proposed to affect the experience of psychological stress among tertiary students in recent years. This relationship becomes important in stressful environments such as medical schools. However, the relationship between stress and learning approaches is not well understood, and often studies done cannot be generalized due to different sociocultural differences. In particular, no study in Malaysia has looked at learning approaches among medical students. Aims: To address this gap, we examined the relationship between perceived stress and learning approaches by considering sources of stress. Methodology: The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10), Medical Student Stressor Questionnaire, and the Revised Two-Factor Study Process Questionnaire were answered by the preclinical and final-year students studying MBBS in a Malaysian campus of British University. Results: Deep learning was positively and surface learning negatively associated with perception of coping with stress. In this study, neither approaches were associated with psychological stress as opposed to previous reports. We found surface learners to report higher level of stress associated with social stressors. We found students' self-perception of feeling incompetent and feeling they need to do well to be significant sources of stress. Discussion: Deep learning promotes psychological resilience. This is of paramount importance in learning environments where stress is highly prevalent such as medical school. Promotion of deep learning among medical students is required at earlier stages as they tend to solidify their approach through their university years and carry that approach beyond school into their workplace.

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