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Table 1 Mean dental environmental stress (DES) questionnaire scores and comparison among 4 years

From: Perceived causes of stress among a group of western Canadian dental students

Category Stressor DES overall DES by year Sig. level
Year 1 (2016) Year 2 (2015) Year 3 (2014) Year 4 (2013)
Mean (SD) Mean (SD) Mean (SD) Mean (SD) Mean (SD)
Social-related stress Living away from home 0.92 (1.14) 1.14 (0.96) 1.13 (1.25) 1.00 (1.38) 0.35 (0.61) 0.039*
Accommodations not being conducive for studying 1.77 (1.59) 2.04 (1.57) 2.00 (1.17) 1.44 (1.63) 1.65 (1.90) 0.292
Difficulty in making friends 0.62 (0.89) 0.74 (1.10) 0.78 (0.94) 0.56 (0.82) 0.42 (0.61) 0.720
Romantic relationships 1.63 (1.45) 1.59 (1.26) 1.50 (1.41) 1.81 (1.75) 1.53 (1.31) 0.973
Lack of time for relaxation 3.42 (1.33) 3.24 (1.13) 3.55 (1.43) 3.81 (1.39) 2.95 (1.27) 0.109
Lack of holiday time compared to other students 2.84 (1.39) 2.96 (1.10) 2.90 (1.55) 2.63 (1.64) 2.89 (1.24) 0.893
Social demands-family 1.49 (1.32) 1.18 (1.10) 1.37 (1.07) 1.92 (1.69) 1.39 (1.14) 0.531
Social demands-friends 1.65 (1.19) 1.80 (0.91) 1.63 (1.12) 1.70 (1.54) 1.39 (1.04) 0.562
Personal physical health 1.97 (1.62) 1.60 (1.61) 1.60 (1.70) 2.62 (1.79) 1.95 (1.08) 0.088
Physical health of others-significant other/family 1.51 (1.40) 1.18 (1.05) 1.47 (1.59) 2.14 (1.58) 1.13 (1.15) 0.145
Financial-related stress Financial responsibilities-living expenses 2.33 (1.50) 2.32 (1.49) 2.05 (1.87) 2.52 (1.45) 2.37 (1.21) 0.757
Financial responsibilities-disposable income 2.18 (1.58) 2.38 (1.47) 1.71 (1.72) 2.39 (1.67) 2.11 (1.49) 0.499
Financial responsibilities-tuition costs 3.29 (1.46) 3.42 (1.35) 3.35 (1.49) 3.44 (1.45) 2.84 (1.61) 0.593
Financial responsibilities-transportation 1.62 (1.28) 1.35 (1.03) 1.33 (1.14) 1.88 (1.37) 1.84 (1.50) 0.404
Financial responsibilities-size of current debt load 3.23 (1.60) 3.00 (1.62) 3.21 (1.62) 3.42 (1.58) 3.26 (1.69) 0.793
Financial responsibilities-size of future debt load 3.36 (1.59) 3.42 (1.47) 3.28 (1.60) 3.38 (1.67) 3.32 (1.73) 0.979
Financial responsibilities-interest payments on debt 2.81 (1.61) 2.50 (1.44) 2.83 (1.65) 3.12 (1.61) 2.74 (1.82) 0.531
Clinical-related stress Concern about manual dexterity and clinical skills 1.68 (1.39) 2.44 (1.26) 1.40 (1.31) 1.67 (1.49) 1.05 (1.10) 0.003*
Transition from pre-clinical to clinical studies 1.17 (1.44) 2.68 (1.17) 1.89 (1.66) 3.00 (1.41) 1.90 (1.25) 0.017*
Completing clinical requirements 2.84 (1.48) 2.93 (1.33) 2.90 (1.33) 3.19 (1.62) 2.21 (1.44) 0.149
Clinical grading 2.36 (1.35) 3.00 (1.36) 2.05 (1.36) 2.37 (1.33) 2.20 (1.32) 0.236
Differences in opinions of clinical faculty and staff regarding clinical decision-making and treatment 2.88 (1.39) 3.05 (1.60) 2.75 (1.29) 3.19 (1.36) 2.42 (1.26) 0.237
Supply of patients 2.86 (1.47) 2.14 (1.21) 2.84 (1.38) 3.33 (1.47) 2.50 (1.54) 0.159
Patient communication and management 2.27 (1.47) 2.00 (1.15) 2.45 (1.54) 2.33 (1.44) 2.15 (1.63) 0.899
Confidence in own clinical decision-making 1.77 (1.13) 2.57 (0.94) 1.45 (0.99) 1.81 (1.21) 1.45 (1.05) 0.009*
Adequacy of clinical supervision 2.04 (1.38) 1.92 (1.31) 1.60 (0.99) 2.41 (1.50) 2.05 (1.54) 0.415
Patients attending scheduled appointments 2.57 (1.61) 2.00 (1.15) 2.60 (1.82) 2.89 (1.62) 2.30 (1.52) 0.557
Occupational/health hazards 1.41 (1.37) 1.27 (1.03) 1.15 (1.35) 1.81 (1.52) 1.25 (1.37) 0.292
Academic-related stress Conducive teaching environment 2.31 (1.37) 1.88 (1.48) 2.79 (1.27) 2.44 (1.28) 2.21 (1.36) 0.100
Criticism of academic and/or clinical work 2.78 (1.38) 3.04 (1.46) 3.15 (1.35) 2.74 (1.40) 2.00 (1.00) 0.064
Approachability of faculty/staff 2.16 (1.45) 1.76 (1.45) 2.85 (1.39) 2.15 (1.35) 2.00 (1.53) 0.068
Communication with faculty/staff 2.27 (1.41) 1.76 (1.42) 2.95 (1.22) 2.41 (1.47) 2.05 (1.27) 0.023*
Rules/regulations of college 2.62 (1.61) 2.32 (1.75) 2.85 (1.56) 2.89 (1.60) 2.37 (1.50) 0.481
Expectation versus reality of dental school 3.29 (1.50) 3.40 (1.38) 3.25 (1.71) 3.56 (1.34) 2.79 (1.62) 0.453
Amount of course work 3.28 (1.30) 3.40 (0.82) 3.20 (1.24) 3.59 (1.39) 2.80 (1.64) 0.306
Difficulty of course work 2.67 (1.33) 3.08 (0.95) 2.90 (1.52) 2.56 (1.28) 2.10 (1.45) 0.088
Time available for learning 3.32 (1.31) 3.48 (1.05) 3.55 (1.28) 3.56 (1.28) 2.55 (1.47) 0.051*
Fear of not being able to catch up if falling behind in course work 3.03 (1.44) 3.28 (1.14) 3.40 (1.43) 3.26 (1.48) 2.00 (1.37) 0.008*
Fear of failing a course or year 3.68 (1.50) 4.36 (1.07) 4.15 (1.09) 3.78 (1.22) 2.16 (1.71) < 0.001*
Competition for grades 1.96 (1.58) 2.36 (1.75) 2.11 (1.52) 1.93 (1.41) 1.35 (1.56) 0.170
Uncertainty about future dental career 2.01 (1.48) 2.40 (1.58) 2.05 (1.61) 1.74 (1.16) 1.84 (1.61) 0.469
Examinations 3.05 (1.39) 3.00 (0.98) 3.00 (1.59) 3.56 (1.40) 2.50 (1.47) 0.107
Lack of input into dental college decision-making 2.48 (1.61) 1.72 (1.49) 3.15 (1.56) 2.68 (1.57) 2.50 (1.57) 0.026*
Clinical time allotted in curriculum 2.24 (1.32) 2.41 (1.28) 2.40 (1.09) 2.41 (1.55) 1.70 (1.17) 0.176
The language of teaching 1.03 (1.12) 1.21 (1.21) 1.06 (1.16) 0.96 (1.10) 0.89 (1.05) 0.842
Knowledge transfer of information, methods and materials 1.63 (1.21) 1.54 (1.18) 1.80 (1.20) 1.69 (1.32) 1.50 (1.19) 0.867
The amount of material 2.60 (1.41) 2.88 (1.13) 2.45 (1.15) 2.89 (1.60) 2.00 (1.59) 0.108
The difficulty of material 1.97 (1.20) 2.20 (0.82) 2.05 (1.05) 2.04 (1.48) 1.50 (1.28) 0.152
Reference and information resources 1.33 (1.17) 1.14 (0.89) 1.32 (1.06) 1.48 (1.42) 1.35 (1.23) 0.934
  1. * Statistically significant at p < 0.05