Stress factors and mental health among israeli medical students in six-and four-year programs

Nikolai Kaidesh, Izhar Ben-Shlomo, Avital Laufer, Michal Finklestein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: This study aimed to measure levels of anxiety and depression among Israeli medical students, and to identify stress factors, both personal and academic, that might be associated with psychological distress. An additional aim was to compare two training programs (six-year vs. four-year) in terms of these variables. Methods: The study included 110 Israeli medical students from six-(n = 35) and four-(n = 75) year programs. Depression was assessed via the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9); anxiety by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI); stress by the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10); and academic stressors by the Higher Education Stress Inventory (HESI). Results: Mild depression was found among 36% of the students, and moderate to higher levels were found among 21% of them. Depression, anxiety, and perceived stress were higher among younger students and, when controlling for age, did not differ by program. Women reported greater concerns regarding their future careers than did men. Overall, one third of the variance in depression, anxiety, and perceived stress was explained by younger age, faculty shortcomings, and low commitment to the profession, with faculty support buffering trait anxiety. Conclusion: Distress among medical students is an issue of concern, and intervention programs directed towards lessening faculty shortcomings and enhancing faculty support and commitment to the profession should be promoted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-29
Number of pages9
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

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Fund for Research in the Galilee, Zefat Academic College, Israel.

FundersFunder number
Zefat Academic College, Israel


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