Background: This work aimed to ascertain future pharmacists’ stressors and stress-coping practices. Methods: Queens’ University Belfast Year 2 and 4 pharmacy students were invited to participate in an ethically approved, pre-piloted questionnaire study. Section A was the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale, Sections B and C related to stressors and stress-coping mechanisms, and Section D gathered non-identifiable demographic information. Data analysis largely took the form of descriptive statistics. Results: A response rate of 94.2% (213/226) was obtained. The mean Perceived Stress Scale score was 19.94 [standard deviation (SD) 6.37], with females having a higher mean score than males (20.55 SD 5.67 versus 18.16 SD 7.42). Common general stressors were career choice, employment opportunities, and finance. Common degree-specific stressors were particular assessments (objective structured clinical examinations and one-off written examinations) and the amount of course material. Popular stress-coping practices included getting emotional support from friends and family and using self-distractions. Conclusion: Stress appears to be an issue among these future pharmacists, and potentially more so for females. While the main stressors are unsurprising, this UK data enables comparisons to be made and helps inform support mechanisms within the university.
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