Dental and Medical Problems

Dent Med Probl
Index Copernicus (ICV 2020) – 128.41
MEiN – 70 pts
CiteScore (2021) – 2.0
JCI – 0.22
Average rejection rate (2021) – 81.35%
ISSN 1644-387X (print)
ISSN 2300-9020 (online)
Periodicity – quarterly

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Dental and Medical Problems

2017, vol. 54, nr 2, April-June, p. 149–154

doi: 10.17219/dmp/68782

Publication type: original article

Language: English

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Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 Open Access

Associations between stress, fatigue, sleep disturbances and dental students’ oral health-related behaviours: Changes throughout academic year

Związki między stresem, zmęczeniem i zaburzeniami snu a zachowaniami dotyczącymi zdrowia jamy ustnej u studentów stomatologii – zmiany w ciągu roku akademickiego

Adomas Rovas1,A,B,C,D,E,F, Agnė Staniulytė1,A,B,C,D,E,F, Alina Pūrienė1,A,E,F

1 Institute of Odontology, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania


Background. Stress, fatigue and sleep disturbances are common among university students and they have an impact on their personal health. The prevalence as well as the influence of these factors on oral health-related behaviors are likely to vary during the academic year.
Objectives. The objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of symptoms related to stress, fatigue and sleep disturbances among dental students during the academic year and to investigate whether these symptoms are associated with oral health-related behaviors.
Material and Methods. The prospective study surveyed dental students from Vilnius University, Institute of Odontology at the beginning of the academic year (September) and during the examination period (December). The questionnaire given was individually coded and consisted of Fatigue Assessment Scale, Karolinska Sleep Questionnaire, Reeder Stress Assessment Scale and questions assessing self-reported oral health-related behaviors. Out of 121 dental students, 92 students completed the questionnaire both times and were included in the study (dropout rate – 8.9%, response rate – 76%).
Results. Correlations were found among disturbed sleep, insufficient amount of sleep, poor sleep quality and several oral health-related variables: tooth brushing frequency, flossing frequency, the use of a single-tuft toothbrush and a tongue cleaner (p < 0.05). Compared to the beginning of the academic year, a significant increase in the number of students suffering from difficulties waking up in the morning (from 52 (56.5%) to 63 (68.5%), p = 0.027), daytime sleepiness (from 19 (20.7%) to 34 (37%), p = 0.008), sleep quality disorders (from 9 (9.8%) to 25 (27.2%), p = 0.002) as well as perceiving fatigue (from 22 (23.9%) to 48 (52.2%), p < 0.001) and stress (from 31 (33.7%) to 54 (58.7%), p < 0.001) was observed during the examination period. Increased prevalence of these factors was related with insufficient oral health-related behavior.
Conclusion. This study revealed that oral health-related behaviors worsen when there is a higher prevalence of stress, fatigue and sleep disturbances.

Key words

fatigue, dental students, sleep disorders, psychological stress, oral hygiene

Słowa kluczowe

zmęczenie, studenci stomatologii, zaburzenia snu, stres psychiczny, higiena jamy ustnej

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