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Vol. 50. Issue 3.
Pages 176-183 (July - September 2021)
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Vol. 50. Issue 3.
Pages 176-183 (July - September 2021)
Original Article
Perceived Stress by Students of the Medical Sciences in Cuba Toward the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results of an Online Survey
Estrés percibido por estudiantes de ciencias médicas en Cuba ante la pandemia por COVID-19: resultados de una encuesta en línea
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Frank Hernández-Garcíaa,
Corresponding author
, Onelis Góngora Gómezb, Victor Ernesto González-Velázquezc, Elys María Pedraza-Rodríguezc, Rolando Zamora-Fungd, Luis Alberto Lazo Herrerae
a Centro Provincial de Atención y Educación al Paciente Diabético, Hospital Provincial General Docente “Dr. Antonio Luaces Iraola”, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas “Dr. José AsseF Yara”, Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Ciego de Ávila, Ciego de Ávila, Cuba
b Facultad de Ciencias Médicas Mariana Grajales Coello, Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Holguín, Holguín, Cuba
c Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Villa Clara, Villa Clara, Cuba
d Facultad de Ciencias Médicas Enrique Cabrera, Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de La Habana, La Habana, Cuba
e Facultad de Ciencias Médicas Dr. Ernesto Che Guevara de la Serna, Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Pinar del Río, Pinar del Río, Cuba
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Tables (6)
Table 1. Socio-educational characteristics of students of the medical sciences who participated in the online survey.
Table 2. Distribution of the score on the 10-item stress perceived scale modified in relation to COVID-19 (EEP-10-C) regarding gender.
Table 3. Exploratory factor analysis according to the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin sample adequacy measure.
Table 4. Reliability analysis of the 10-item stress perceived scale modified in relation to COVID-19 (EPP-10-C).
Table 5. Cluster analysis of K-means according to the score on the scale of stress perceived related to the COVID-19 pandemic (EPP-10-C).
Table 6. Distribution of students according to scores on the 10-item stress perceived scale modified in relation to COVID-19 (EPP-10-C) and stress levels according to the cut-off point ≥20.
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Abstract
Introduction

The aims of this study were to determine the usefulness of the Modified (10-item) Scale of Perceived Stress related to COVID-19 (EEP-10-C, for its acronym in Spanish) and to identify the levels of stress perceived by students of medical sciences in Cuba due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted, with self-reported data of students from 14 Cuban universities of medical sciences (n=200), through an online survey. The EEP-10-C was used as an instrument to identify stress. Its validity was determined through a confirmatory factor analysis and its internal consistency and reliability was measured by the Cronbach's alpha. A cluster analysis was performed to establish as the cut-off point the centre of the cluster with the highest values of stress perceived by the scale.

Results

The average age of the sample was 23.30± 1.91 years, with observed scores of the EEP-10-C between 0 and 29 points (13.25±5.404). When applying the cut-off point ≥25, only two students had high rates of perceived stress. The confirmatory factor analysis supported the validity of the instrument (α=0.755). The cut-off point ≥20 was proposed as a reference of high stress perceived for the study population, when applying this one, 14% of students presented high rates of stress.

Conclusions

In Cuba, students of the medical sciences have participated in research and healthcare support, despite which they have presented low levels of stress. The main contribution of the research was the validation of the EEP-10-C for its use in assessing levels of stress in Cuban medical students, proposing the cut-off point ≥20 as a reference of high stress perceived.

Keywords:
Coronavirus
COVID-19
Psychological stress
Medical students
Resumen
Introducción

Los objetivos de este estudio fueron determinar la utilidad de la Escala de Estrés Percibido Modificada (10 ítems) relacionada con COVID-19 (EEP-10-C) e identificar los niveles de estrés percibido por estudiantes de ciencias médicas en Cuba por la pandemia de COVID-19.

Métodos

Se realizó un estudio transversal, con datos informados por los estudiantes de 14 universidades de ciencias médicas de Cuba (n=200) a través de una encuesta en línea. El EEP-10-C se utilizó como instrumento para identificar el estrés. Su validez se determinó mediante análisis factorial confirmatorio y su consistencia interna y su confiabilidad, mediante alfa de Cronbach. Se realizó un análisis de conglomerados para establecer como punto de corte el centro del conglomerado con los valores más altos de estrés percibido en la escala.

Resultados

La edad promedio de la muestra fue 23,30±1,91 años, con puntajes observados de la EEP-10-C entre 0 y 29 puntos (13,25±5,404). Al aplicar el punto de corte ≥ 25, solo 2 estudiantes tuvieron altos índices de estrés percibido. El análisis factorial confirmatorio respaldó la validez del instrumento (α=0,755). Se propuso el punto de corte ≥ 20 como referencia de alto estrés percibido para la población de estudio; al aplicarlo, el 14% de los estudiantes tenían altos índices de estrés.

Conclusiones

En Cuba, estudiantes de ciencias médicas han participado en investigaciones y apoyo a la atención de la salud, a pesar de lo cual han presentado bajos niveles de estrés. El principal aporte de la investigación fue la validación de la EEP-10-C para su uso en la evaluación de los niveles de estrés de los estudiantes de Medicina cubanos, y se propone el punto de corte ≥ 20 como referencia del alto estrés percibido.

Palabras clave:
Coronavirus
COVID-19
Estrés psicológico
Estudiantes de Medicina

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