Prevalence of B-Blockers Misuse for Exam Stress and Anxiety Management among Health Professions Students in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Background: Excessive stress can affect students’ learning performance and well-being. An optimal level of stress could enhance learning and achievement, whereas excessive stress may affect academic achievement and result in mental and physical health problems. This research aims to assess the prevalence of Beta-Blockers misuse especially propranolol and to determine the stress causative factors among health professions students. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study has been conducted at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Data collected through an online, modified and valid questionnaire through Google documents were sent to all health professions students. The total number of participants is 430. Results: The prevalence of propranolol misuse is 40% (172) among health professions students in Jeddah city and 89% (153) of them were among the age group 20-30 years. The most causative stimulants to use propranolol among the medical students especially was for reducing the educational stress and anxiety (70%) and they reported that they frequently used propranolol before oral/poster presentation (42%) and entering the practical exams (OSCE/OSPE) (26%) and oral exam (19%) in comparison to the theoretical written exam (p-value < 0.01). Conclusion: This study concludes that there is a high rate of propanol misuse among health professions students in Jeddah city especially among male medical students. All users were aware of the potential side effects of propranolol, however; the stress-relieving effect and feeling of propranolol increased its use prior to practical, oral and presentations exams.
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