Stress, Anxiety and Depression in students of a private medical school in Karachi, Pakistan

Noman Rehmani, Qurat-ul-Ain Khan, Syeda Sadia Fatima


Objective: To determine frequency of stress, anxiety and depression and their coping mechanisms in undergraduate students of a private sector university.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted at Aga Khan University recruiting students from Medical School, School of Nursing & Midwifery, and Dental Hygiene program who had attended at least six months on campus from October 2016 until August 2017. The “Aga Khan University Anxiety and Depression Scale” and “Student-Life Stress Inventory” scales were used to assess depression and anxiety, and stressors.

Results: A total of 283 students participated in this study and all of them scored higher than the cutoff on both scales labeling them as highly stressed. Students from dental hygiene program reported more stressors as compared to MBBS (p<0.001) and SONAM (p=0.002). Factors identified as stressors included pressure to pass exam, meeting family’s expectations of good academic performance, and missing home.

Conclusion: Stress, anxiety and depression are found to be highly prevalent among undergraduate students in medical setting in Karachi. Awareness, recognition, and timely management may reduce stress among the students and improve their performance and quality of life. 


How to cite this:Rehmani N, Khan QA, Fatima SS. Stress, Anxiety and Depression in students of a private medical school in Karachi, Pakistan. Pak J Med Sci. 2018;34(3):696-701.   doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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