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