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Psychological Well-Being, Health, and Stress Sources in Turkish Dental Students

Tocak, Yasemin Sezgin
Yozgatlıgil, Ceylan
Bal, Belgin
This study investigated the psychological well-being and overall health of a group of Turkish dental students and their sources of stress. Two hundred and seventy-seven students (57 percent female) from Gazi University Dental Faculty completed the Dental Environment Stress (DES) questionnaire, the Psychological General Well-Being (PGWB) index, and the SF-36 Health Survey. The results showed that the DES scores increased over the five-year period. Pressure to perform, faculty and administration, workload, and students' perceptions of their self-efficacy were the most stress-provoking factors. Students whose first choice was dentistry experienced less stress and fewer health problems (p<0.05) than students whose first choice had not been dentistry. Psychological well-being and overall health were significantly associated with year of study. Statistically significant gender differences were observed on depressed mood and anxiety dimension scores of PGWB. Female students experienced greater stress than males, while male students had better overall health than females (p<0.01). Students who lived with their parents had lower PGWB scores (p<0.05). Age was significantly related with the DES and PGWB scores. These results found that stress among these Turkish dental students was influenced by gender, year of study, social background, and lifestyle. Based on the results of this study, recommendations can be made for changes in the dental education system in order to reduce stress among dental students especially during the last two years of study.