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Work, stress and play: students’ perceptions of factors impacting on their studies and well‐being

Jenkins, Susan, Johnson, Ilona and Ginley, Jennifer 2019. Work, stress and play: students’ perceptions of factors impacting on their studies and well‐being. European Journal of Dental Education 23 (3) , pp. 349-354. 10.1111/eje.12436

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Abstract Introduction This study gathered information about life outside of the course for undergraduates studying at the School of Dentistry, Cardiff University. The aim was to explore how these external factors to the course may affect an individual’s academic performance and well‐being. Materials and Methods A cross‐sectional study design was used. An online questionnaire designed for the purpose of the study was used to capture (quantitative and qualitative) data. Questions with dichotomous options, a range of statements with Likert scales (level of agreement) and open (free‐text) questions were used. Data were analysed in SPSS using simple descriptive statistics and frequency distributions. Spearman’s Rho was used to explore relationships for scaled categorical data. Content analysis was used for qualitative data. Results Two‐thirds (n = 69, 63%) of participants reported being very stressed about their studies in the previous 12 months. The majority felt that external factors to their course (e.g. lack of sleep, health issues, financial concerns, hobbies and issues with friends) had impacted on their academic lives with only 9% (n = 10) stating that their lives outside dentistry had no effect. Discussion Those who felt able to pursue hobbies and activities reported a better work‐life balance and less stress. Questions about pursuing hobbies and sleep may help identify students at risk of being stressed or who may benefit from additional support in order to achieve a better work‐life balance. Conclusion This study has highlighted key areas for further investigation and opportunities for improving support to reduce student stress and improve well‐being.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Subjects: R Medicine > RK Dentistry
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1396-5883
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 May 2019
Date of Acceptance: 5 April 2019
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2020 02:05

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