The prevalence and risk factors for poor sleep quality amongst medical students: A cross sectional study

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Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Medical College Pakistan


Introduction: Undergraduate medical students have consistently been shown to have high prevalence of mental health disorders in comparison to their peers from non-medical backgrounds and sleep quality is a critical aspect for maintaining mental wellbeing. The aim of this study is to compile prevalence on poor sleep quality and analyze its potential risk factors.
Methodology: A cross sectional study was conducted at the Aga Khan University. Undergraduate medical students asked to fill out a self-reported questionnaire that was sent via email which included the 14-point Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). 302 students responded and the data was analyzed using chi square and logistic regression to determine their association with Sex, BMI, Year of Study and Academic Score.
Results: The mean age of study participants was 21.58 + 1.41 years and majority were males (58%). The mean PSQI, ESS and PSS scores were 6.35 + 3.28, 7.72 + 4.58 and 28.38 + 7.81 respectively. 11.3% of participants reported poor sleep quality, which was significantly associated with female sex and academic performance. 28.5% of students had excessive daytime sleepiness, which was significantly associated with female sex and academic year (first year). “Stress” and “Overthinking/Anxiety” were the two most common self-reported reasons for Poor Sleep Quality. 85.4% of students were stressed with an average PSS score of 28.38 + 7.81.
Conclusion: This study therefore shows a high prevalence of stress with moderate sleep disturbance prevalence, which was associated with female sex and academic performance.


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