The Role of Acceptance and Planning in Stress Management for Medical Students

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2020-0020

Objective: The purpose of this study was to analyze the role of two coping mechanisms, namely Acceptance and Planning, in stress management among medical students.
Methods: This research included two groups, a target group consisting of medical students (N = 100; Mage = 22.34) and a control group which was composed of physical education and sports students (N = 100; Mage = 20.11). For the target group, a low level of stress was induced, the students being informed that their overall behavior during an examination would be analyzed later by a group of psychologists, after which they were filmed while taking the exam. The students from the control group performed a physical exercise while they were filmed, and they were told that the correctness of the exercise would be evaluated by experts in physical education and sports on the basis of the recorded images. After completing the tasks, both the students in the target group and those in the control group completed the COPE questionnaire.
Results: The statistical data interpretation revealed a significant statistical difference regarding the two coping mechanisms, namely Acceptance [M = 10.73; t (19) = 3.79, p <0.001; CI -1.91, -0.60], and Planning [M = 9.47; t (19) = 4.70, p <0.01; CI -1.99, -0.81]. According to statistical data analysis, we did not find another significant statistical difference among the remaining 13 coping mechanisms.
Conclusions: To efficiently manage stress during exams, medical students use Acceptance and Planning coping mechanisms, which may increase their emotional regulation abilities and help them focus on problem-solving.

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