Scientifical evidences indicates a correlation between alterations of chronical origin and the stress created in academicals activities. Among the obligatory disciplines in health-related university programs, practical evaluation in Human Anatomy is one of the most feared, which seems related to anxiety, naiveness and superstitions in handling corpses. Furthermore, the psychological pressure in traditional evaluation methods seems to act as an important stress factor. The objective of this study was to evaluate the correlation between two methods of practical assessment of Human Anatomy, continuous and intermittent flow, level of cortisol and overall performance in college students from health-related programs. Thirty two students were recruited. Samples were collected before and after the first and second practical evaluation. The students themselves collected the samples assisted by a previously trained professional using Salivette tubes. The first evaluation was applied individually in intermittent flow (IF), switching between a pratical question and a period waiting seated on a chair. The second was also individually, but in a continuous format (CF), without a stoppage. Levels of cortisol were determined by ELISA, utilizing the Salimetrics kit. The results point an increase of 46.8% in the level of stress of practical assessment strategy in the IF method. Nevertheless, a more expressive increase of 67.8% was observer in the CF method. In conclusion, IG method caused a smaller variation in cortisol levels and those have shown an inverse relation with student performance, indicating that the IG method may be a better way to apply practical evaluation in Human Anatomy Education.
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