LEFO - Legeforskningsinstituttet

Institute for Studies of the Medical Profession

2010

Study-related health and behavior patterns of medical students: A longitudinal study

Voltmer E, Rosta J, Aasland OG, Spahn C. Med Teach. 2010; 32 (10): e422-8.
13. september 2010

Article in English.

Abstract on PubMed:

BACKGROUND: Little is known about specific health risks and resources and their development influencing medical students' stress. AIM: To evaluate the development of quality of life and study-related behavior and experience patterns among medical students. METHODS: Data were collected in the first (n = 112 of 182 in 2006) and the fourth semesters (n = 164 of 176 in 2008). The instruments "Work-Related Behavior and Experience Patterns" (AVEM, including four main patterns: "Health", "Unambitious," "Overexertion," "Burnout") and "Short Form-12 Health Survey (SF-12)" were used at both points in time. RESULTS: The medical students scored significantly lower on mental health compared with reference samples of young adults. The proportion of students with a healthy pattern decreased from 47.3% (95% CI 38.1-56.5%) in the first semester to 36.9% (29.4-44.4%) in the fourth semester. This corresponded to an increase in the proportion of students at risk for burnout from 7.1% (2.3-11.9%) to 20% (13.8-26.2%). At both time points, female students had a higher risk for overexertion and a lower prevalence of a healthy pattern than male students. CONCLUSION: Our data provide evidence for a decrease in the healthy pattern and an increase in the burnout pattern. Intervention is needed, especially for students at risk for burnout.

Read the article in full text via this link.