MAT71004 Introduction To Evidence For Health Science Practitioners

MAT71004 Introduction To Evidence For Health Science Practitioners

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MAT71004 Introduction To Evidence For Health Science Practitioners

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MAT71004 Introduction To Evidence For Health Science Practitioners

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Course Code: MAT71004
University: Southern Cross University is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia


The project is a report of a data analysis that you shall conduct using the data we have collected in a surve.
Research Problem
It is somewhat expected that students would experience high stress through certain periods during the semester especially around exams and deadlines. However, less is known about psychological distress and resilience in students. If students are experiencing high levels of distress, this could increase their risk of developing mental health disorders, which may have a deleterious impact on their own wellbeing and that of the university community.


This research, approved by the institutional ethical committee, was conducted within selected universities in the urban areas in Australia. The study had a sample size of 1200 students with convenience sampling using as the sampling technique. Engineering, dental and medical students were used for the study. A total of five colleges participated in the study with two of them being engineering colleges, two dental colleges and one medical college. The questionnaire did not include names of any student or institution for anonymity. The engineering students outnumbered the medical students and therefore mechanical engineering students were randomly selected from the engineering colleges to ensure comparability.
A self-administered questionnaire, created by published literature and finalized after a pilot study, and online survey were used as the instruments of study (Bedewy & Gabriel, 2015). The questionnaire had three sections. The first part was the sociodemographic factors which included gender, parents’ occupation and education background, where the student was brought up and the students’ educational background. The second part included the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21) which had to be approved by researchers as a sociodemographic conditions screening instrument. The stress scale could be used to determine irritability, relaxing difficulties and tension and gave results corresponding to generalized anxiety disorder symptom criteria. The DASS-21 classified stress as either normal (absent), mild, moderate or severe. Questions designed to determine the cause of stress made up the third section. These questions to determine possible stressors were categorized into three groups. These categories included, stress caused by academic factors, stress due to social and environmental factors and stress as a result of lifestyle and health factors.
The study designed questions on the academic factors based on the fact that most stress and anxiety cases in students are reported during examination periods due to high work load, long examination duration and lack of physical activity (Bedewy & Gabriel, 2015). The study considered academic factor such as if the student failed in school, choice of courses, quality of college education, study related problems and satisfaction with teaching criteria. The study stressed on long examination durations and high workloads as they carry more weight than the other two academic factors. The questions considered whether parents and teachers contribute to stress in students in school. This is because teachers’ expectations and parental pressure are factors that influence students during choosing of careers, in their study and maybe during examinations. Students who chose a certain career as a result of parental pressure could be in great fear to face their parents after failing in an examination. The questionnaire also captured on the academic perception of the students. These self-perception factors include the student’s past academic achievements intelligence, personality academic psychological and economic factors. Sometimes students underestimate their capabilities while others overestimate the consequences of failing which might lead to anxiety and poor performance.
Environmental factors were incorporated in the questionnaire as the environment plays a big role in determining a student’s life in school. Social and environmental factors accessed in this study were the students’ residential and college environment, recreational activities, family, social, emotional and economic problems and also the students’ relationship with one another. It is true that every person has to adapt to the environment they find themselves in. some factors captured here were lack or short time for breaks whereby the student has little time to rest. Students’ living conditions and unfamiliar situations in school were also considered. The study thought that the living conditions might directly affect the well-being of a student. This included where and how the students lived. Students might find themselves being victims of some unusual situations in school which might disturb the students. The study considered divorce of parents as an environmental factor. The student finds himself in a situation whereby the parents are divorced.
Lifestyle and personal factors that the study considered were change in environment, new responsibilities, change in sleeping habits, health problems, combining job and studies and poor eating habits. For change in environment, the study thought that students respond different to change in their environment and therefore could be a factor leading to stress. Going to school every morning and bumping into new faces on campus may be nuisance to some students. Student life is too much demanding which might lead to change in sleeping habits of the student. The study also thought that responsibilities which are too demanding in school might affect the student. Health issues are a concern to students and everybody else and therefore could be a source of stress. For the health and lifestyle factors, the participants’ health status were measured to see if there was any deviation from the normal. Psychological issues included were examination phobia, self-care, frustration and mood breakdown. Health factors accessed included substance and drug abuse, diet and exercise.
The cut-off point for each stress factor was set to 50% and above. When the respondent scored above, that factor was considered to be contributing to stress development in students (Waghachavare et al. 2013). The study ensured that none of the participants was due to sit for an examination in the month after the research. The purpose and nature of the research was explained to the participants and any willing student aged above 18 years was involved in the study. Mental comfort zone and total privacy were observed while filling the questionnaire. The following data was obtained.

Field of







Dental n (%)

286 (71.3)

47 (11.7)

35 (8.7)

33 (8.2)


Engineering n (%)

335 (80.3)

38 (9.1)

22 (5.3)

22 (5.3)


Medical n (%)

304 (74.5)

38 (9.4)

36 (8.9)

28 (6.9)


Total n (%)

925 (75.6)

123 (10.0)

93 (7.6)

83 (6.8)


Below is a graph showing the number of students versus stress.

Waghachavare, V. B., Dhumale, G. B. Kadam, Y. R and Gore, A. D. (2015). A Study of Stress among Students of Professional Colleges from an Urban Area in India. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, Vol. 13, No. 3, pp. 429-436.
Bedewy, D. and Gabriel, A. (2015). Examining Perceptions of Academic Stress and its Sources among University Students: The Perception of Academic Stress Scale. Health Psychology Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2. Doi: 10.1177/2055102915596714

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