Physiotherapy students' sources of stress, perceived course difficulty and paid employment: comparison between Western Australia and United Kingdom

B. Tucker, S. Jones, Anne Mandy, R. Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Physiotherapy education is changing, and educators are increasingly concerned about the levels of stress observed in students. Considerable research has investigated stressors in medical and nursing students; however, studies of physiotherapy students were conducted more than a decade ago. This study examined the sources of stress, perceived course difficulty, and hours of paid employment in undergraduate physiotherapy students in Western Australia (WA) and the United Kingdom (UK). The Undergraduate Sources of Stress questionnaire was administered to students in all years of Bachelor of Science (Physiotherapy) programs (n = 249 WA; n = 161 UK) and a Master of Physiotherapy (graduate entry) program (n = 24 WA) with an overall response rate of 70%. Academic concerns were rated highest for all students, particularly the amount to learn, time demands of the course, and conflict with other activities. The course was perceived to be more difficult than expected by 71% of students. Although the mean (SD) hours per week worked in paid employment by WA and UK students is 12.52 (13.90) and 7.16 (4.02), respectively, there was no correlation between any stress subscale and number of hours worked. Reducing the amount of content and revision of the outcomes of physiotherapy curricula could potentially reduce academic stress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-328
Number of pages12
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Volume22
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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