Stress among healthcare students-A cross disciplinary perspective

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Abstract

Background and purposes: Perceived stress (PS) among healthcare students worldwide is a recognized problem. To address the paucity of data about the actual degree of PS, this study aimed to: 1) evaluate and compare PS across three healthcare programs (Physical Therapy [PT], Communication Disorders [CD], and Nutrition Sciences [NS]) in one university; 2) evaluate changes in PS across study years; 3) identify the contribution of academic-and socio-demographic- related variables to PS; and 4) determine whether the Israeli students' PS levels differ from those of their peers in other countries. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was performed among all undergraduate PT, CD, and NS students from one university. Data were collected using anonymous questionnaires. Instruments included the Perceived Stress Scale 10 (PSS) and the Undergraduate Sources of Stress (USOS). ANOVA was used to evaluate the differences between the three programs, and regression analysis to evaluate the contribution of socio-demographic factors to PS and USOS. Results: A total of 312 students (PT-154; CD-92; NS-66) participated in the study. Mean PSS (range: 13.5-13.6) was similar in the three programs. The USOS academic factor was the most reported source of stress in all programs. Most socio-demographic variables were not related to either PS or USOS. Conclusions: Students from PT, CD, and NS programs perceived similar levels of stress. The academic factor was perceived as the most important source of stress by students from the three departments, despite differences in the academic educational programs. Further studies are needed to generalize these results and enable a comparison between healthcare students and other students' stress perceptions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-412
Number of pages12
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

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