Prevalence of stress disorders in frontline healthcare students

Emerging evidence indicates that some healthcare students are developing stress disorders, due to factors relating to their chosen field of study. If accurate, this could have a major impact not only on those students, but also on the professions into which they are entering. To understand the extent of the problem, a literature review was conducted to identify the overall prevalence of stress disorders in healthcare students who are exposed to occupational stress/trauma, and/or course-related stress. Two databases were searched to include studies reporting on the presence of primary or secondary stress disorders in healthcare students. Six studies were reviewed, which included primary outcomes of depression, anxiety and stress. The pooled prevalence of primary outcomes was 41.4%. Pooled prevalence of depression was 49.58%, anxiety 54.55% and stress 20.2%. High prevalence figures suggest the need for adequate provision of mental health resources.

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