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Stress Experienced By dental students performing clinical training in different dental disciplines- A Cross Sectional Study.

OBJECTIVES: assess the stress level, the impact of stress factors and discrepancies among 4th and 5th year undergraduate clinical students at the University of Jordan.

METHODS: a cross-sectional study conducted in the academic year 2022/2023. The study group included 4th and 5th years dental students in University of Jordan (n= 382) who were asked to voluntarily fill in an online Dental environment stress (DES) questionnaire. Analysis conducted using Mann Whitney U, independent t-test, Chi Square test, and Spearman's Rho rank correlations. Statistical significance inferred when p<0.05.

RESULTS: 4th year students reported higher levels of nervousness before treating patients for the first time. While, 5th year students faced more difficulty, higher stress, and/or fear regarding the amount of assigned work, provided treatment, completed requirements, failing the course, time to finish assignments, patient comprehensive care, and financial expenses of the course. Comparison between groups reveals that the 5th year students scored higher levels of stress on total DES score and all partial DES scores. Further, the total DES questionnaire scores were significantly correlated with GPA among the total study sample and the prosthodontics clinical course marks among the 4th year students' group.

CONCLUSIONS: The stress level among students in clinical courses was influenced by their academic performance, gender, year level and the type and time needed for the provided treatment. Completing course requirements was among the most commonly faced stressors. Future research endeavors might be considered to study each clinical factor, its impact on students' stress level and how to manage and positively improve these factors.

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