A randomized control study of psychological intervention to reduce anxiety, amotivation and psychological distress among medical students

Coumaravelou Saravanan, Rajiah Kingston


Background: Test anxiety aggravates psychological distress and reduces the motivation among graduate students. This study aimed to identify psychological intervention for test anxiety, which reduces the level of psychological distress, amotivation and increases the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation among medical students. Materials and Methods: Westside test anxiety scale, Kessler Perceived
Stress Scale and Academic Motivation Scale were used to measure test anxiety, psychological distress and motivation on 436 1st year medical students. Out of 436 students, 74 students who exhibited moderate to high test anxiety were randomly divided into either experimental or waiting list group. In this true randomized experimental study, 32 participants from the intervention group received five sessions of psychological intervention consist of psychoeducation, relaxation therapy and systematic desensitization.Thirty-three students from waiting list received one session of advice and suggestions. Results: After received psychological intervention participants from the intervention group experienced less anxiety, psychological distress, and amotivation (P = 000) and high intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (P = 000) in the postassessment compared with their preassessment scores. Conclusion:
Overall psychological intervention is effective to reduce anxiety scores and its related variables.

Key words: Anxiety, motivation, psychological distress

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