Stressed But Not Despair: An Analysis of Coping Ability among Non-Trauma Patients Presenting at the General out Patients Clinic of Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, South West Nigeria. (Published)
Background: Relationship between stress, morbidity, and mortality has been well established. Morbidity or mortality arises when an individual coping ability has been expended. The perceived stress score (PSS) is an instrument that can be used to determine the level of stress and the ability to cope with the existing stressors. Methods: The sample size of 360 was determined using the percentage of the total patients seen over the previous year that were new patients and this was 36%. The sample size was achieved by selecting 30 patients weekly out of an average of 107 new patients per week using a regular interval ratio. Analysis was done by the use of SPSS version 17. Results: The mean stress score for the study sample was 19.59 with the highest score among those coming to the hospital for psychosocial reasons. About seventy per cent (70.8%) of the study population scored above 10 on the stress coping scale. Cigarette smoking and marital status have significant association with stress coping score. Conclusion: The ability to cope with stress was high among the study population. Current smokers have less ability to cope with stress while being married confers higher ability. Recommendation: Smokers need both medical and psychological intervention to help them develop and enhance their stress coping ability. Family issues should be addressed by physicians as being married confer higher ability to cope with day to day stress.