Medical students encounter specific stressors that can lead to higher levels of psychological distress compared to their similar aged counterparts who study other subjects. The Medical Student Stressor Questionnaire (MSSQ) was developed to specifically identify stressors among medical students as well as measure the intensity of stress caused by the stressors. However, no Italian version has been validated to date. The aim of this study was to develop an Italian version of the MSSQ (MSSQ-I) and to assess its psychometric properties. The MSSQ has been translated and culturally validated into Italian. All medical students from the University of Brescia were asked to participate in a web-survey in which they were asked to complete the MSSQ-I. For the analysis of the stability over time, participating students were asked to complete again the MSSQ-I after about one month. Among 1754 medical students, 964 completed the MSSQ-I for the validation analyses. A first Confirmatory Factor Analysis and a subsequent Explanatory Factor Analysis outlined a slightly modified factor structure of the scale with five factors instead of six as in the original scale. The internal consistency on the overall scale was high (α = 0.94), as well as the internal consistency of each of the new factors: (α > 0.83 for the first four factors and α = 0.67 for the fifth). External validity analysis confirmed moderate/high concurrent validity. These results suggest that the MSSQ-I can be used as a tool to identify stressors among Italian medical students, although further research is needed to confirm its individual test-retest reliability.
- Medical students
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