Assessment of effects of sympathetic nervous system with evoking acute mental stress on the 1st year BDS students by a surprise viva examination
Background: Academics and examinations are a source of stress among students which is much greater among medical and dental professional students. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of sympathetic nervous system by evoking acute mental stress on the 1st year BDS students by taking a surprise viva test in the subject of physiology. Methods: This observational study was carried out in the Physiology Department of Fatima Jinnah Dental College on 28th March, 2018. A total of 66 healthy students were included in this study. Mental stress was evoked by announcing a surprise viva test of physiology. Their baseline and pre-viva pulse and blood pressure were recorded and compared. Paired sample t-test was applied to check the statistical significance of differences between baseline and pre-viva blood pressure and pulse of 66 participants. Results: Out of 66 healthy students, 43 (65.2%) were females, and 23 (34.8%) were males. The mean pre-viva pulse of participants was significantly higher than the mean baseline pulse with a t-value of -8.455 (df=65) (p<0.001). Mean pre-viva blood pressure was found to be significantly higher than the mean baseline blood pressure (t-value -2.370, df=65) (p=0.021). Conclusion: Acute mental stress stimulates sympathetic nervous system by increasing the heart rate and blood pressure that is needed to prepare an individual to face any challenge or a threat.
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