Objectives: Students are exposed to various stressors like exams, pressure to passi courses and/or concern for their future after
the graduation. There is a limited number of studies on the stress experienced by university students and the physical effects
associated with them. The aim of our study is to analyze the stress levels of students of the School of Physical Education and
Sports, and their relationship to gastrointestinal symptoms.
Study Design: This descriptive study was conducted in the School of Physical Education and Sports at a college located in the
Anatolian region of Turkey. The population of this study consisted of 390 students who were registered at college. Perceived
Stress Index and Gastrointestinal Symptoms Survey were used in addition to a survey which contained personal questions. Chisquare
tests, Fishers exact test, and logistic regression analysis were performed using SPSS 17.0. Logistic regression analysis
was applied to the variables that were significant in binary analyzes.
Results: Students perceived stress level mean was found to be 18.98±4.80. Students who reported higher perceived stress
levels were significantly more likely to complain of GI symptoms. Over two thirds (68.2%) of participants indicated that they
have at least one gastrointestinal symptom. Moreover, 24.3% of students stated they have at least one esophageal symptom
while 47.4% stated having at least one symptom of dysmotility and 50.8% mentioned having at least one intestinal symptom.
Conclusion: Gastrointestinal symptoms were found among the majority of students who participated in the study. A relationship was
found between perceived stress and gastrointestinal symptoms. Subjects such as stress management or overcoming stress should be
added to syllabus or seminars related to those subjects should be arranged during the school year to reduce perceived stress levels.