Volume 29, Issue 10 (12-2022)                   RJMS 2022, 29(10): 102-115 | Back to browse issues page

Ethics code: IR.MAZUMS..REC.1399.7872

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Talebian F, Azimi lolaty H. A Study of Procrastination and Related Psychosocial Factors among Medical Students: A Narrative Review Article. RJMS 2022; 29 (10) :102-115
URL: http://rjms.iums.ac.ir/article-1-6868-en.html
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatric Nursing, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Addiction Institute, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran , azimihamideh@gmail.com
Abstract:   (883 Views)
Background & Aims: Improving the level of health in society requires advancement in the level of education in universities of medical sciences. This improvement will only be achieved by removing the obstacles. One of the obstacles with which most of the students are encountered, and which has an unpleasant impact on learning and educational success, is called academic procrastination. Academic procrastination is considered as a common phenomenon due to the fact that it involves 70% of students. Academic procrastination means a delay in doing the assignments and completing the projects and preparing for exams. There are two types of procrastination in doing the assignments among students. The first type is purposeful procrastination. For instance, when students have to finish different assignments at the same time, they, therefore, prioritize the assignments. The second type is unreasonable procrastination, and we consider this type of  procrastination as academic procrastination. Procrastination has negative, irreparable impacts on medical students, for example, decrease in knowledge, and not learning the skills to take care of patients. At last, after entering the workplace, these people suffer from occupational anxiety and depression, medication errors, occupational burnout, lack of essential motivation to take care of patients and decrease in quality of providing services more than their other colleagues. According to the studies that were conducted, students of medical sciences are prone to mental disorders due to having certain study conditions, such as entering a large and stressful workplace, heavy study load, intense competition, educational period, uncertainty about future career. The students of today, will be the medical staff of future in health and medical field. Thus, in order to have a knowledgeable medical staff, we should take into account the consideration of students’ health at present. Despite the fact that there has been a large number of studies on the topic of influential factors on procrastination, there has not yet been shaped a clear insight on this topic. Given that academic procrastination is a common phenomenon among students, and has unpleasant effects, the researcher, thus, decided to conduct a reviewing study of the literature about procrastination incidence and the associated mental-social factors among students of medical sciences, so that a step is taken to be able to identify the dimensions of this issue and to develop approaches to decrease procrastination through the results obtained from this study.
Methods: This article is a review study which was conducted in 2020. It was done through a search in databases of SID, Iran Medex, Google Scholar, Magiran, Medline, Science Direct, Scopus, ProQuest, by using the key words “procrastination”, “student”, “medical sciences”, in Farsi and also with their English equivalents. Inclusion criteria included descriptive and analytic studies, or narrative or systematic review studies, which at least contained an abstract in Farsi or English, with a time limit from 2010 to 2020. And exclusion criteria also included studies whose full text was not available in Farsi or English, and they were omitted from the study. 3110 articles in total were extracted in the initial searching. After omitting the repeated articles, 57 articles were obtained, and they were screened in two stages. In the first stage of screening, the titles and a general summary of the articles which were obtained, were investigated. Those articles which had the inclusion criteria and could answer the research questions of the present study, were selected. 30 studies were excluded in this stage. In the second stage of screening, the full text of the articles which were included after the previous stage, were investigated and those articles which were not related to the purpose of the present study (n = 7) were excluded from the list of the study. In the end, 20 articles were used to write this review article.
Results: This review study demonstrated that the prevalence of academic procrastination among students of medical sciences in Master’s degree and in Dentistry, and students who reside in dormitory, is higher. And each of the variables which were mentioned were categorized in two categories of mental factors and social factors. Out of the 20 articles that were studied in this research, 16 articles were in Farsi and 4 articles were in English. In addition, most of the studies were conduced in the years 2018 – 2019. Out of all the articles which were investigated, categorization of the studies was carried out based on the content; it was in such a way that eventually the results of the study were categorized in two categories of: A) the level of procrastination in students, and B) psycho-social factors. psycho-social factors included the following sets: 1) psychological factors were divided to three sub-categories of mental illnesses (such as anxiety and mood disorders), mental abilities (such as self-efficacy, self-esteem, mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and optimism), and personal characteristics (self-discipline, self-regulation, inefficient schema, attributional style and perfectionism), 2) social factors were divided into two subcategories of social media and educational associated factors. The diversity of these studies is an indication of the wide coverage of this study in the researches which were conducted before. In order to observe the ethical considerations in the research, the studies which were used are mentioned and correctly written in the reference section.
Conclusion: Review of different studies from all around the world indicates the high prevalence of academic procrastination among students of medical sciences. With regard to the above-mentioned impact and consequences of academic procrastination on students of medical sciences, and as a result, the incidence of these consequences in working environment of health and medical staff (the quality of caretaking and finally safety of the patient) which will have irreparable effects; it is, therefore, suggested to the managers of medical sciences that they plan strategy-training programs, such as holding workshops on improving motivation and academic achievement and positive psychology in order to reduce academic procrastination, specially in students who reside in dormitories, so that students can enjoy a better academic achievement. In addition to that, it is better to design and conduct an intervention study for determining the effectiveness of the techniques which were recommended.
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Type of Study: review article | Subject: Clinical Psychiatry

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