AIMS: Graduate education in the healthcare professions can be stressful and mentally taxing. The objective of this study was to identify differences in health and health-related behaviors among graduate allied health students based on sex and curriculum stage (i.e., didactic or clinical education). METHODS: Participants (n=77) were assessed for body fat, BMI, resting metabolic rate (RMR), and peripheral arterial-venous O2 (AVO2), as well as a series of cognitive tasks and self-reported health and health-related behaviors. Independent sample t-tests and tests of proportions were used to assess differences between groups. RESULTS: There was no evidence that the didactic and clinical students were meaningfully different upon entering their programs. Didactic students reported significantly higher tension/anxiety, depression, anger, confusion, fatigue, total mood disturbance, trait mental fatigue, total intensity of mental work performed, and time spent sitting (p<0.05). Didactic students also reported significantly lower RMR (p=0.033), but not after normalizing for fat-free mass. Males reported lower intensity of mental work performed on non-work days compared to females (p=0.009). CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicate students in didactic stages have worse mood and decreased health relative to their counterparts in clinical stages. Opportunities exist to integrate physical and mental health-related education, resources, and self-management programming into graduate allied health curricula to improve wellness among students.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Allied Health|
|State||Published - Dec 2018|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health