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KUMJ | VOL. 3 | NO. 2 | ISSUE 10 | APRIL-JUNE, 2005

Emotional impact of cadaver dissection: a survey in a medical college in western Nepal
Vijayabhaskar P, Shankar PR, Dubey AK

Objectives: Adverse physical and psychological effects to human dissection have been reported in many studies. In Nepal, the basic science subjects are taught in an integrated manner in the first four semesters of the MBBS course. Studies on the attitudes of medical students towards anatomy dissection are lacking in Nepal. The present study was carried out to obtain information on the present and initial perception of medical students on exposure to anatomy dissection and the association, if any, of the perception with demographic factors.
Methods: The study was carried out among the first, second and third semester students at the Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara using the appraisal of life events (ALE) scale in February 2005. Sixty-three first semester, 57 second and 65 third semester students successfully completed the questionnaire and their responses were taken up for analysis. Information on sex, age, nationality, religion, food habits, occupation of parents and selection procedures of respondents was collected. The parameters loss, challenge and threat were measured on first exposure to dissection and at the time of the study. The scores were compared among different categories of students (p< 0.05).
Results: 185 of the 225 students (82.2%) successfully completed the questionnaire. The median initial loss, challenge and threat scores were 2, 19 and 4 respectively. The median present loss, challenge and threat scores were 1, 20 and 0 respectively. The present threat score was higher among second semester students. The initial loss was higher among Indians and the present challenge score was higher among vegetarians.
Conclusions: The loss and threat score were low compared to that reported in a previous study. The challenge scores were higher than those reported previously. Majority of students considered anatomy dissection as a significant life experience and one which was largely positive. Further studies with a larger student population and in other medical colleges are required.

Keyword : Anatomy dissection, emotional impact, medical students