A Stress Management Program for Higher Risk Medical Students: Preliminary Findings Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Brennan, Julie; McGrady, Angele; Lynch, Denis J; Schaefer, Paul; Whearty, Kary


  • Approximately 10 % of first year medical students have clinically relevant anxiety or depression which may affect academic success and quality of life. This study tested the effects of a stress management intervention on indicators of anxiety, depression and self-efficacy in self-selected first year medical students. Forty two medical students volunteered to participate and provided informed consent. An eight session intervention was offered and focused on building relaxation skills, adaptive coping, and basic nutrition. Anxiety, depression, and self-efficacy were assessed pre and post intervention. This group of students had significantly higher baseline values of depression and anxiety but lower self-efficacy compared to a previous study of medical students at the same institution (p < 0.03). After the intervention, statistically significant improvements were observed in anxiety (p < 0.05), and self-efficacy (p < 0.05), but not in depression. The entering levels of anxiety and depression in this group suggested that these students were at risk for later clinical syndromes. Intervention directed to decreasing the effects of stress was associated with improvement in indicators of distress and may modify the longer term risk.

publication date

  • 2016

start page

  • 301

end page

  • 5


  • 41