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A Study on Stress Levels, Anxiety and Depression in Students at the Medical University of Varna

Monika Kalcheva, Hristo Stefanov, Damyan Iliev, Svetlin Varbanov, Yasen Yanev


Introduction: The aim of the study was to assess the level of stress, anxiety and depression in students at the Medical University of Varna.

Materials and Methods: We conducted a cross-section study between February 17, 2017 and February 24, 2017 involving 205 students at the Medical University of Varna. The students were of different age, gender and specialties – 76.6% (157) female, 23.4% (48) male, 17.5% (36) first- and second-year students, 20% (41) third-year students, 34% (70) fourth-year students, 20% (41) fifth-year students, 8.3% (17) sixth-year students. The number of medical students was 123, 50 were pharmacy students, 9 - dental medicine students and 23 were students from other medical programs.

We used three different questionnaires in our study - a stress-level questionnaire (PS-1) consisting of 14 questions, the State -Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2)

Results: Experiencing situations as stressful “often” or “very often” was reported by 141 or 68% of the participants. The mean score of the stress questionnaire was 45.64 with a minimum of 23 and a maximum of 70 (Std. Deviation – 9.783).

Score of (STAI) TR-A: Mean - 53.25 (Std. Deviation - 14.983), minimum – 20, maximum – 80.

Score of (STAI) TR-B: Mean - 51.86 (Std. Deviation - 13.257), minimum – 20, maximum - 80.

Score of (PHQ-2): Mean – 2.81 (Std. Deviation - 1.872), minimum – 0, maximum – 6.

The results showed a positive correlation between stress and state-anxiety (r= .745**, p< .001), trait-anxiety (r= .750**, p< .001), depression (r= .585**, p< .001).

Conclusion: The students at the Medical University of Varna experience relatively high levels of cumulative stress. There is a positive correlation between stress, anxiety and depression. These results are alarming and need further examination and careful consideration.


stress, anxiety, depression


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