Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

A cross-sectional examination of the relationship between approaches to learning and perceived stress among medical students in Malaysia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Daniel Smith, Dr Michaela Goodson


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


© 2018 Education for Health | Published by Wolters Kluwer-Medknow. Background: Learning approaches have been proposed to affect the experience of psychological stress among tertiary students in recent years. This relationship becomes important in stressful environments such as medical schools. However, the relationship between stress and learning approaches is not well understood, and often studies done cannot be generalized due to different sociocultural differences. In particular, no study in Malaysia has looked at learning approaches among medical students. Aims: To address this gap, we examined the relationship between perceived stress and learning approaches by considering sources of stress. Methodology: The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10), Medical Student Stressor Questionnaire, and the Revised Two-Factor Study Process Questionnaire were answered by the preclinical and final-year students studying MBBS in a Malaysian campus of British University. Results: Deep learning was positively and surface learning negatively associated with perception of coping with stress. In this study, neither approaches were associated with psychological stress as opposed to previous reports. We found surface learners to report higher level of stress associated with social stressors. We found students' self-perception of feeling incompetent and feeling they need to do well to be significant sources of stress. Discussion: Deep learning promotes psychological resilience. This is of paramount importance in learning environments where stress is highly prevalent such as medical school. Promotion of deep learning among medical students is required at earlier stages as they tend to solidify their approach through their university years and carry that approach beyond school into their workplace.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Behzadnia A, Smith D, Goodson ML

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Education for Health

Year: 2018

Volume: 31

Issue: 2

Pages: 80-86

Print publication date: 01/05/2018

Online publication date: 30/11/2018

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

ISSN (print): 1357-6283

ISSN (electronic): 1469-5804

Publisher: The Network: Towards Unity for Health


DOI: 10.4103/efh.EfH_280_17

PubMed id: 30531049


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric