PSS-STUDY: PSS-Study: An Exploration of Physiotherapy Student-Perceived Stress and the Related Coping Strategies whilst on Placement

Keywords: coping, physiotherapy, stress, students


Evidence exploring stress and coping strategies amongst physiotherapy students within clinical practice is lacking. The aim of this study is two-fold: to identify common stressors and coping strategies of BSc and MSc UK physiotherapy students on clinical placement; to explore the relationship between these stressors and coping strategies, and demographics of age, gender and year of study. This cross-sectional study recruited a convenience sample. Participants completed a five-part closed questionnaire. Seventy-seven questionnaires were returned. Frequency counts identified common stressors and coping strategies (%). Chi-squared test analysis identified correlations between variables. Odds ratio analysis highlighted strength of associations. Common stressors: lack of practical skills (58.4%); participants’ perceived expectations of required knowledge (57.1%); time demands (55.8%). Common coping strategies: talking to a friend in the same year of study (79.2%); exercise (68.8%). Lack of support from university/clinical staff (p = 0.04), time demands (p = 0.03) were statistically significant stressors in relation to age. Talking to a friend in the year above was a statistically significant coping strategy (p = 0.008) for male students. Talking to a clinical educator/ward staff was a statistically significant coping strategy in relation to year of study (p = 0.035). Certain stressors were experienced more by second-year BSc and second-year MSc cohorts than the third-year BSc cohort. These findings provide awareness of students who potentially require support in managing stress.


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How to Cite
Bennion, J., Symmons, T., Shearman, I., Holloway, C., & Kain, R. (2020). PSS-STUDY: PSS-Study: An Exploration of Physiotherapy Student-Perceived Stress and the Related Coping Strategies whilst on Placement. International Journal of Practice-Based Learning in Health and Social Care, 8(2), 68-85.
Research Articles