Study of Association between Psychological Stress and Depression among Undergraduate Medical Students from Asia Metropolitan (Amu) in Johor Bahru

Download Article

DOI: 10.21522/TIJAR.2014.03.01.Art005

Authors : Roy Rillera Marzo, Thanashree Rajamanickam, Preeya Subramaniam, Sri Mahalakhsmi Somasundaram, Santhrahaasan Ramamoorthy, Sharine Tan Shey Lin, Nishanthieny Balakrishnan Nair, Tan Soon Wai, Navin Raj Kathiravelu, Shaheena Sanggeth Hariaran, Shahrul Akmal Bin Nor Hisham


Background: Stress is a term that refers to the sum of physical, mental and emotional strains or tensions on a person. Depression is a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, decreased energy, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, and poor concentration. Psychological Stress among medical students is common as compared to other professional courses. The aim of the study is to study the association between Psychological Stress and Depression among undergraduate medical students in Asia Metropolitan University.

Methods: A Cross sectional study was undertaken among 75 medical students in a private medical college, Johor Bahru. Validated questionnaires such as General Health Questionnaire (GHQ -12) and Beck depression Inventory (BDI) were used to screen Psychological Stress and Depression respectively.

Results: Prevalence of Psychological Stress was 39.7% and Depression was 38.2% among medical students. There was a significant association between Psychological stress and Depression among medical students because the p-value <0.01.

Conclusion: Emphasize should be laid on the importance of screening for Depression of medical students on a regular basis for early detection and rendering appropriate intervention like student Mentorship Program, group counseling, stress management training to protect the future professionals.


[1] Abraham, R.R., Zulkifli, E.M., Zi Fan, E.S., Xin, G.N. & Geok Lim, J.T.(2009). A Report on Stress among First Year Students in an Indian Medical School. Malaysia, 3(2), 78-8.

[2] Ahmad, A. & Mazlan, N.H. (2014). Stress and Depression: A Comparison Study between Men and Women Inmates in Peninsular Malaysia. Malaysia, 4(2), 153-160.

[3] Ahmed, R., & Hamoud, D. (2012). Prevalence and Associated Factors of Emotional Disorder among

Malaysian University Students. Malaysia, 4(12), 1401 -1411.

[4] Azila-Gbettor, E.M., Atatsi, E.A., Danku, L.S. & Soglo, N.Y. (2015). Stress and Academic Achievement: Empirical Evidence of Business Students in a Ghanaian Polytechinic. Ghana, 2 (4), 78-98.

[5] Bataineh, M.Z. (2013). Academic Stress among undergraduate students: The case of education faculty at King Saud. Sudia Arabia, 2(1), 82-86.

[6] Basnet, B., Jaiswal, M., Adhikari, B. & Shyangwa, P.M. (2011). Depression among Undergraduate Medical Students, Kathmandu University Medical Journal, 10(3), 56-59.

[7] Burn, N. & Grove, S.K. (2005). The practice of nursing research: Conduct, critique and utilization. Philadelphia: Saunders.

[8] Deasy, C., Coughlan, B., Pironom, J., Jourdan, D. & Mannix-McNamara, P. (2014). Psychological Distress and Coping amongst Higher Education Students: A Mixed Method Enquiry. Ireland, 9(12), 1 -23.

[9] Do, Q. D. (2007). Depression and stress among the first year medical students in University of Medicine and Pharmacy. Vietnam, 1 -106.

[10] Guan, N.G. (2014). A Review of Depression Research. Malaysia, 69, 42-45.

[11] Hysenbegasi, A., Hass, S. L., Rowland, C. R., (2005). The Impact of Depression on the Academic Productivity of University Students. New York, 8, 145-151.

[12] Khan, T.M., Sulaiman, S.Y.S. & Hassali, M. A. (2009). The causes of depression. A survey among Malaysians about perception for causes of depression. Malaysia, 2(2), 6-9.

[13] Kittu, D. & Patil, R.(2013). Study of association of psychological stress and depression among undergraduate medical students. India. 4(4), 555-558.

[14] Ko, S.M., Kua, E.H, & Fones, C.S. (1999). Stress and the undergraduates. Singapore, 40, 627– 30.

[15] Lama M. (2011). The Relation of Depression and Anxiety in Academic Achievement among Group of University Students. Tafila, 3(5), 96-100.

[16] Manjunath, R., & Kulkarni, P. (2013). Mental Health Status and Depression among Medical Students. Mysore, 4(1), 50-3.

[17] Mosley, T.H., Perrin, S.G., & Neral, S.M. (1999). Stress, coping and well-being among third year medical students. Unites State, 69, 765-7.

[18] Olsen, C. & George, D. M. (2004). Cross-Sectional Study Design and Data Analysis. Washington.

[19] Othman, C.N., Farooqui, M., Yusoff, M.S. & Adawiyah, R. (2013). Nature of Stress among Health Science Students in a Malaysian University. Malaysia, 105, 249 – 257.

[20] Polit, D.F., & Hungler, B.P. (2013). Nursing research: Principles and methods. Philladelphia: Lippincott.

[21] Richard, I.L. (2010). A Survey of Depression among Graduate Students and Their Academic Performance. Philippines, 2-47.

[22] Ross, S.E., Bradley, C.H. & Teresa, M. (2008). Sources of Stress among College Students. Midwestern. 33 (2), 1 -6.

[23] Salam, A., Yousuf, R., Abu Bakar, S.M. & Mainul Haque, M. (2013). Stress among Medical Students in Malaysia: A Systematic Review of Literatures. Malaysia, 20(6), 649– 655.

[24] Saravanan, C. & Wilks, R. (2014). Medical Students’ Experience of and Reaction to Stress: The Role of Depression and Anxiety. Malaysia, 1 -9.

[25] Shah, M., Hasan, S., Malik, S., Sreeramareddy, C.T. (2010). Perceived stress, sources and severity of stress among medical undergraduates in a Pakistani medical school. Parkistan, 10 (2), 1 -8.

[26] Shendarkar, A.T. (2013). A Study of Stressors in Medical College Students (Hostelities) in Northern Maharashtra. India. 35 (3), 227-229.

[27] Sherina, M.S. & Kaneson, N. (2003). The Prevalence of Depression among Medical Students.

Malaysia. 11(1), 12-17.

[28] Sidik, S.M., Rampal, L. & Kaneson N.(2003). Prevalence of emotional disorders among medical students in a Malaysian university. Malaysia, 2, 213–217.

[29] Sohail, N. (2013). Stress and Academic Performance among Medical Students. Lahore, 23 (1), 67-71.

[30] Solanky, P., Desai, B., Kavishwar, A., Kantharia, S.L. (2012). Study of psychological stress among undergraduate medical students of government medical college, Surat. Gujarat, 1(2), 38-42.

[31] Sreeramareddy, C.T., Shankar, P.R., Binu, V.S., Mukhopadhyay, C., Ray, B., & Menezes, R. (2007). Psychological morbidity, sources of stress and coping strategies among undergraduate medical students of Nepal. India, 7(26), 1 -8.

[32] Sultana, N. (2011). Stress and Depression among undergraduate Medical Students. Bangladesh, 2 (1), 6-9.

[33] Wolf, T.M., Faucett, J.M., & Randall, H.M. (1990). A health promotion program for medical students: Louisiana State University Medical Centre. United State, 4, 193– 202.

[34] Yusoff, M.S. & Esa, A.R. (2011). Stress Management for Medical Students: A Systematic Review. Malaysia, 477.