For Burnout, Emotional Distress, and Coping in

For our assignment I chose to use an article I found titled “Patterns of Academic Burnout, Emotional Distress, and Coping in Physical Therapy Students”. In this peer review, the authors took note of one hundred and sixty-three students that were enrolled in an entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.

The group consisted of two separate colleges and surveyed both first year and second-year students. Researchers asked the students to complete an online survey titled “Stress and Burnout in Physical Therapy Students” to self-determine their levels of Emotional distress, burnout, and the results of their coping behavior at the start of the semester until the end of the spring semester. The survey included “demographic questions, the twenty-one item Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21), the sixteen-item Oldenburg Burnout Inventory-School (OLBI-S), a one-item question about General Health Status, and a twenty-four-item list of activities, created for this study, to identify the type and frequency of coping behaviors used during the semester for self-care.” (pg.33) The DASS-21 that was used on the test was used to measure how a comment describing a negative feeling applied to them over that week. Students were asked to rate on a scale of zero to three. Zero on the grading scale signifying it did not apply to them at all over that past week and three meaning it applied to the student very plentiful or most of the time over that week.Another sectioned scored was the OLBIS-S section.

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This section evaluated academic burnout that was broken down into two factors. The first factor observed was Exhaustion and the second issue labeled disengagement. For this section, students were to rate themselves using one of five notions describing their personal burnout status with options such as “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree” to check from.The General Health Status section that was listed rated the students on how they would rate their own general health status. Students had the option to choose from selections such as poor, fair, good, very good, or excellent. In order for researchers to study the fluctuation in this area, the students were then asked later throughout the semester to determine if they felt that their health status had increased, decreased, or had no change since being last questioned at the beginning of the semester. The last section to the test was The Coping Activities section.

This section asked two questions. The first question that was asked was for students to “indicate which of the following activities you typically or generally use to reduce your stress or anxiety as well as the frequency of their use: Never, Once a Week, 2–3 Times/Week, 4–5 Times/Week, 6 Times a Week, Daily.” The follow-up question to this question asked students to select which activity they had participated in to help decrease the feeling of stress.

From these two questions, researchers used the top ten most commonly stated answers that students used to deal with coping activities. From there they categorized the answers into five positive activities and five negative coping activities to choose from.After reviewing the results researchers concluded that out of one hundred and sixty-three student responses the experiment showed a significant increase in depression, anxiety, stress, exhaustion, and disengagement since their initial survey. The section DASS-21 had “normal” scores during the start of the semester but as the semester progressed the results increased and changed the status from “normal” to “mild”. The amount of stress and anxiety among the students had increased. The scores from the OLBI exhaustion and disengagement section showed significantly increased numbers between the amount of time elapsed as well.

The results for the exhaustion section stayed consistent from January until May with ratings shown at a “high” level. The percentage for the section Disengagement section started the semester off at a “low” score and increased to an “average” score. The General Health Status rating stayed consistent throughout the semester with a few changes in students’ ratings that moved the rating from “excellent” to “very good” score. The results for using activities to help cope with the stress showed that students who reported exercising more than usual and spending more time with their friends and family increased their DASS-21 scores leaving them in a “normal” range. However, even with this being said the numbers remained so stay” high” in the exhaustion category. With the information from this survey, it was suggested that Doctorate Physical Therapy teachers remind their students to increase the time they spend doing activities that could help manage stress and prevent being burned out before even working in the physical therapy field.

It is no wonder why Healthcare professional students with emotional distress and academic burnout are more likely to consider dropping out (Dyrbye et al. 2014; Drybye and Shanafelt 2011; Balogun et al. 1999).Professional burnout can affect the clinical practice of physical therapy in many ways. Not only can it bring a negative attitude into the workplace but, it can also “include decreased quality of patient care, increased the cost of care, and reduced patient satisfaction, and thus undermines the capacity of a healthcare organization to meet the goals of the Triple Aim of Health care.

(Bodenheimer and Sinsky 2014; Shanafelt and Noseworthy 2017; Sikka, Morath, and Leape 2015)”. With this type of mindset, it can also take a toll on the individual’s wellbeing such as their physical and mental health, any personal relationships, and possibly their future in the health care setting itself. ?CitationWilliams PS, Mueller MK, Carroll HC, Cornwall MW, Denney LM, Kroneberger LM. Patterns of Academic Burnout, Emotional Distress, and Coping in Physical Therapy Students.

International Journal of Health, Wellness & Society. 2018;8(3):31-46. doi:10.18848/2156-8960/CGP/v08i03/31-46.


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