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Introduction: Professional Dental Education can be a stressful experience. Identification of the stress sources will not only help in advocating policy changes and strategies to alleviate the stress, but also will improve the academic performance and psychological well‑being of the students. This study was undertaken to assess the various stressors affecting the undergraduate (UG) dental students and also to assess their attitude towards psychiatric treatment.
Materials and Methods: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional survey study was conducted at a private dental college, India, to assess academic stressors, psycho-social stressors, health-related stressors and the attitude towards psychiatric treatment among UG dental students. A five-point Likert scale was used to record the responses from the subjects. The data were statistically evaluated both quantitatively and qualitatively.
Results: Our results were statistically significant and showed that the overall stress levels among all the years of UG students was high and no student fell in the no stress category. Severe stress peaked in the first-year students followed by third-year students. An interesting finding noted was that students of all the years showed a similar trend in the type of stressor experienced with a highlevel of psycho-social stressors followed by health-related and lastly the academic stressors. There was no gender difference in stress perception and a significant portion of our study population expressed a positive attitude towards psychiatric treatment.
Conclusion: The immense burden of stress on undergraduate dental students indicates a need for stress management, interpersonal communication and life-skills programmes to be implemented into dental education.