Dental school and professional practice are well-documented sources of stress. Although students and dentists risk developing stress-related disorders, no empirically evaluated method for helping dental students cope with stress has been reported. A group of 17 dental students participated in a six-session program that included instruction in self-relaxation and time management; exercise and leisure planning; and cognitive modification techniques. From pre- to post-training, subjects showed improvement on a variety of self-report and physiological measures relative to a waiting-list control group. A three-month follow-up assessment revealed continued reductions in stress-related behavior. The importance of stress-management training for dental students is discussed as well as suggestions for future research.
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