Self-perceived stressors of Bachelor of Oral Health students and implications for student support
Keywords:oral health students, self-perceived stressors, student support,
Introduction: Despite a greater recent interest in students’ stressors in the dentistry learning environment, there is little research on oral health therapy students’ stressors. This study aimed to identify self-perceived stressors of Bachelor of Oral Health (BOH) students in order to determine whether the learning support provided to them at the University of Otago, Faculty of Dentistry is meeting their needs and to make recommendations for future support strategies.
Methods: All Bachelor of Oral Health students (n = 135) were invited to complete an online modified version of the Dental Environmental Stress Survey in 2016. The questionnaire included 31 items on potential sources of stress, which students were asked to rate on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 “not at all stressful” to 5 “extremely stressful”.
Results: About half of the respondents were first-year students, with the remainder equally distributed between second- and third-year students. The items “fear of being unable to catch up if behind” and “examinations and assessments” scored the highest, indicating that the students perceived these to be their greatest stressors. Although there were some individual high-scoring self-perceived personal stressors for students, overall, academic requirements were the highest scoring stressors, regardless of year group. Clinical environment stressors were rated highest for students in the second year, corresponding to when students start seeing patients.
Conclusion: This study identified several self-perceived stressors for BOH students. The findings suggest that students require extra support at different stages of the program, for example, when they begin to treat patients. Future research should be directed at investigating what types of support programs would be of most benefit to students.
Al-Omari, W. M. (2005). Perceived sources of stress within a dental educational environment. Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice, 6(4), 64–74. Retrieved from http://www.jaypeejournals.com/eJournals/ShowText.aspx?ID=1643&Type=FREE &TYP=TOP&IN=_eJournals/images/JPLOGO.gif&IID=144&isPDF=YES
Alzahem, A. M., Van der Molen, H., Alaujan, A., & De Boer, B. J. (2014). Stress management in dental students: A systematic review. Advances in Medical Education and Practice, 5, 167–176. doi:10.2147/AMEP.S46211
Alzahem, A. M., van der Molen, H. T., Alaujan, A. H., Schmidt, G., & Zamakhshary, M. H. (2011). Stress amongst dental students: A systematic review. European Journal of Dental Education, 15(1), 8–18. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0579.2010.00640.x
Alzayyat, A., & Al-Gamal, E. (2014). A review of the literature regarding stress among nursing students during their clinical education. International Nursing Review, 61(3), 406–415. doi:10.1111/inr.12114
Ebbeling, S., Adam, L., Meldrum, A., Rich, A., McLean, A., & Aitken, W. (2018). Oral health and dental students’ perceptions of their clinical learning environment: A focus group study. Journal of Dental Education, 82(10), 1036–1042. doi: 10.21815/JDE.018.102
Elani, H. W., Allison, P. J., Kumar, R. A., Mancini, L., Lambrou, A., & Bedos, C. (2014). A systematic review of stress in dental students. Journal of Dental Education, 78(2), 226–242. Retrieved from http://www.jdentaled.org/content/78/2/226.full.pdf+html
Enns, A., Eldridge, G. D., Montgomery, C., & Gonzalez, V. M. (2018). Perceived stress, coping strategies, and emotional intelligence: A cross-sectional study of university students in helping disciplines. Nurse Education Today, 68, 226–231. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2018.06.012
Everly, J. S., Poff, D. W., Lamport, N., Hamant, C., & Alvey, G. (1994). Perceived stressors and coping strategies of occupational therapy students. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 48(11), 1022–1028.
Fisher, S. (1994). Stress in academic life: The mental assembly line. New York, NY: Open University Press.
Gambetta-Tessini, K., Marino, R., Morgan, M., & Anderson, V. (2016). Coping strategies and the Salutogenic Model in future oral health professionals. BMC Medical Education, 16, 224. doi:10.1186/s12909-016-0740-z
Gambetta-Tessini, K., Marino, R., Morgan, M., Evans, W., & Anderson, V. (2013). Stress and health-promoting attributes in Australian, New Zealand, and Chilean dental students. Journal of Dental Education, 77(6), 801–809. Retrieved from http://www.jdentaled.org/content/77/6/801.full.pdf+html
Garde, S., Adam, L., & Tawse-Smith, A, (2015). Perceived stressors of undergraduate dental students at the University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry. Unpublished manuscript, University of Otago, Dunedin.
Gordon, N. A., Rayner, C. A., Wilson, V. J., Crombie, K., Shaikh, A. B., & Yasin-Harnekar, S. (2016). Perceived stressors of oral hygiene students in the dental environment. African Journal of Health Professions Education, 8(1), 20–24. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.422
Harris, M., Wilson, J. C., Holmes, S., & Radford, D. R, (2017a). Perceived stress and well-being among dental hygiene and dental therapy students. British Dental Journal, 222(2), 101–106. doi:10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.76
Harris, M., Wilson, J. C., Hughes, S., & Radford, D. R. (2017b). Does stress in a dental hygiene and dental therapy undergraduate programme contribute to a sense of well-being in the students? British Dental Journal, 223(1), 22–26. doi:10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.584
Harris, M., Wilson, J. C., Hughes, S., Knevel, R. J. M., & Radford, D. R. (2018). Perceived stress and well-being in UK and Australian dental hygiene and dental therapy students. European Journal of Dental Education, 22(3), e602–e611. doi:10.1111/eje.12360
Heath, J. R., Macfarlane, T. V., & Umar, M. S. (1999). Perceived sources of stress in dental students. Dental Update, 26, 94–100. doi:10.12968/denu.1918.104.22.168 Jacob, T., Gummerson, C., Nordmark, E., El-Ansary, D., Remedios, L., & Webb, G. (2012). Perceived stress and sources of stress among physiotherapy students from 3 countries. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 26(3), 57–65. doi:10.13140/2.1.4483.6804
Jacob, T., Itzchak, E. B., & Raz, O. (2013). Stress among healthcare students: A cross disciplinary perspective. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 29(5), 401–412.
Kumar, S., Dagli, R. J., Mathur, A., Jain, M., Prabu, D., & Kulkarni, S. (2009). Perceived sources of stress amongst Indian dental students. European Journal of Dental Education, 13(1), 39–45. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0579.2008.00535.x
Labrague, L. J., McEnroe, D. M., De Los Santos, J. A. A., & Edet, O. B. (2018). Examining stress perceptions and coping strategies among Saudi nursing students: A systematic review. Nurse Education Today, 65, 192–200. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2018.03.012
Labrague, L. J., McEnroe-Pettite, D. M., Gloe, D., Thomas, L., Papathanasiou, I. V., & Tsaras, K. (2017). A literature review on stress and coping strategies in nursing students. Journal of Mental Health, 26(5), 471–480. doi:10.1080/09638237.2016.1244721
McCarthy, B., Trace, A., O'Donovan, M., Brady-Nevin, C., Murphy, M., O'Shea, M., & O'Regan, P. (2018). Nursing and midwifery students' stress and coping during their undergraduate education programmes: An integrative review. Nurse Education Today, 61, 197–209. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2017.11.029
Muirhead, V., & Locker, D, (2008). Canadian dental students’ perceptions of stress and social support. European Journal of Dental Education, 12(3), 144–148. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0579.2008.00512.x
Palmer, S., & Cooper, C. (2013). How to deal with stress (3rd ed.). Croydon, United Kingdom: CPI Group.
Partido, B. B., & Stafford, R. (2018). Association between emotional intelligence and academic performance among dental hygiene students. Journal of Dental Education, 82(9), 974–979. doi:10.21815/JDE.018.094
Polychronopolou, A., & Divaris, K. (2009). Dental students’ perceived sources of stress: A multi country study. Journal of Dental Education, 73(5), 631–639. Retrieved from http://www.jdentaled.org/content/73/5/631.long
Rosli, T. I., Abdul Rahman, R., Abdul Rahman, S. R., & Ramli, R. (2005). A survey of perceived stress among undergraduate dental students in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Singapore Dental Journal, 27(1), 17–22.
The, A. J. M., Adam, L., Meldrum, A., & Brunton, P. (2017). Dental students' and staff perceptions of the impact of learning environment disruption on their learning and teaching experiences. European Journal of Dental Education. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/eje.12293
Tucker, B., Jones, S., Mandy, A., & Gupta, R. (2006). Physiotherapy students' sources of stress, perceived course difficulty, and paid employment: Comparison between Western Australia and United Kingdom. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 22(6), 317–328.
Turner, K., & McCarthy, V. L. (2017). Stress and anxiety among nursing students: A review of intervention strategies in literature between 2009 and 2015. Nurse Education in Practice, 22, 21–29. doi:10.1016/j.nepr.2016.11.002
Walsh, J. M., Feeney, C., Hussey, J., & Donnellan, C. (2010). Sources of stress and psychological morbidity among undergraduate physiotherapy students. Physiotherapy, 96(3), 206–212. doi:10.1016/j.physio.2010.01.005
How to Cite
On acceptance for publication in FoHPE the copyright of the manuscript is signed over to ANZAHPE, the publisher of FoHPE.