Determinants of academic stress and stress-related selfmedication practice among undergraduate male pharmacy and medical students of a tertiary educational institution in Saudi Arabia

  • Muhammad Abdullah Al-Shagawi
  • Rizwan Ahmad
  • Atta Abbas Naqvi
  • Niyaz Ahmad
Keywords: Stress, Self-medication, Stressor, Caffeine, Nicotine, Students


Purpose: To identify factors that promote academic stress and stress-related self-medication practice among undergraduate male students of pharmacy and medical colleges at Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among undergraduate students of pharmacy and medical colleges of the university. The study used Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) to document academic stress. The responses of the students were analyzed using SPSS version 22. Results: As many as 51.6 % of students’ perceived moderate stress. The majority of students (55.9 %) highlighted examination as a stressor followed by course load (43.2 %) and cGPA (40.4 %). Prevalence of self-medication was 31.58 and 29.20 % among pharmacy and medical students, respectively. Most of the students consumed caffeine (63.8 %) and nicotine (17.8 %) as a drug. Students blamed heavy course load (23.9 %), followed by assignment load (23 %) and examination (21.1 %) for indulging in self-medication. Conclusion: Academic stress in undergraduate students in health disciplines is perceived to be high by the students. Examinations, course load and lack of time for leisure are major determinants of stress. Caffeine and nicotine are most frequently used by a majority of the students for self-medication.

Keywords: Stress, Self-medication, Stressor, Caffeine, Nicotine, Students


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996