Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Karen Westervelt

Project Collaborators

Karen Westervelt (Co-Principle Investigator), Rebecca Ouellette-Morton (Co-Principle Investigator), Reuben Escorpizo (Course Coordinator for PT 428), Diantha Howard (Collaborating Mentor, RedCap), Alan Howard (Collaborating Mentor, Statistics), Nancy Bianchi (Collaborating Mentor, Dana Medical Library), Diana Hackenburg (Collaborating Mentor, Graduate Writing Center), Daisy Benson (Collaborating Mentor, Zotero)

Secondary Mentor NetID

rouellet

Secondary Mentor Name

Rebecca Ouellette-Morton

Status

Graduate

Student College

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Program/Major

Physical Therapy

Primary Research Category

Health Sciences

Presentation Title

The Effects of a Single Session of Yoga on Anxiety Levels in Doctor of Physical Therapy Students Over 24 Hours: A Pilot Study

Time

3:00 PM

Location

Mildred Livak Ballroom

Abstract

Abstract

Problem Statement:

Emerging research indicates that students in Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs have elevated levels of anxiety.1 High anxiety levels negatively impact academic learning; 2,3 impair clinical performance; 3 and, if sustained, have negative consequences for long-term health and well-being.4,5 As such, incorporating anxiety-management strategies into DPT curricula could be beneficial.6 One possible strategy is the practice of yoga. Research indicates that a single yoga class can have the immediate effects of lowering anxiety levels; increasing positive affect; and decreasing negative affect.7 Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of DPT student participation in a yoga class on anxiety levels and affect over a 24-hour period of time.

Methods:

Participants completed a general survey about anxiety in graduate school, triggers, alleviators, and demographics. Researchers then employed a repeated-measures crossover study design, using a single yoga class as the intervention and a quiet-study session as the control. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS) were used to measure anxiety and affect immediately before the yoga class and the quiet study session, immediately after each, and then again at several intervals during the 24 hours that followed.

Results:

Participants listed multiple stressors within the DPT program that contributed to high levels of anxiety. These included practical exams, group projects, demanding schedules, and volume of work. Students reported using a variety of both adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies to manage anxiety. Results on the impact of the yoga class on anxiety levels will follow as the study progresses.

Conclusion:

Preliminary results indicate that incorporating stress management strategies into DPT curricula is warranted.

References

1. Macauley K, Plummer L. Prevalence and Predictors of Anxiety in Doctor of Physical Therapy Students. Assoc Sch Allied Health Prof. 2017;46(2):e39-e41.

2. Ferguson E. Factors associated with success in medical school: systematic review of the literature. BMJ. 2002;324(7343):952-957. doi:10.1136/bmj.324.7343.952

3. LeBlanc VR. The Effects of Acute Stress on Performance: Implications for Health Professions Education: Acad Med. 2009;84(Supplement):S25-S33. doi:10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181b37b8f

4. Stress Effects on the Body. https://www.apa.org. https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-body.aspx. Accessed November 7, 2018.

5. Publishing HH. Anxiety and physical illness. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/anxiety_and_physical_illness. Accessed December 14, 2018.

6. Van Veld R, Slaven EJ, Reynolds B, Shupe P, Woolery C. First-Year Doctor of Physical Therapy Students Demonstrate Change in Coping With Stress: J Phys Ther Educ. 2018;32(2):138-144. doi:10.1097/JTE.0000000000000037

7. Mackie K. Acute Effects of Yoga on Anxiety and Affect on University Students. [honor's thesis]. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont 2018.

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The Effects of a Single Session of Yoga on Anxiety Levels in Doctor of Physical Therapy Students Over 24 Hours: A Pilot Study

Abstract

Problem Statement:

Emerging research indicates that students in Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs have elevated levels of anxiety.1 High anxiety levels negatively impact academic learning; 2,3 impair clinical performance; 3 and, if sustained, have negative consequences for long-term health and well-being.4,5 As such, incorporating anxiety-management strategies into DPT curricula could be beneficial.6 One possible strategy is the practice of yoga. Research indicates that a single yoga class can have the immediate effects of lowering anxiety levels; increasing positive affect; and decreasing negative affect.7 Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of DPT student participation in a yoga class on anxiety levels and affect over a 24-hour period of time.

Methods:

Participants completed a general survey about anxiety in graduate school, triggers, alleviators, and demographics. Researchers then employed a repeated-measures crossover study design, using a single yoga class as the intervention and a quiet-study session as the control. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS) were used to measure anxiety and affect immediately before the yoga class and the quiet study session, immediately after each, and then again at several intervals during the 24 hours that followed.

Results:

Participants listed multiple stressors within the DPT program that contributed to high levels of anxiety. These included practical exams, group projects, demanding schedules, and volume of work. Students reported using a variety of both adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies to manage anxiety. Results on the impact of the yoga class on anxiety levels will follow as the study progresses.

Conclusion:

Preliminary results indicate that incorporating stress management strategies into DPT curricula is warranted.

References

1. Macauley K, Plummer L. Prevalence and Predictors of Anxiety in Doctor of Physical Therapy Students. Assoc Sch Allied Health Prof. 2017;46(2):e39-e41.

2. Ferguson E. Factors associated with success in medical school: systematic review of the literature. BMJ. 2002;324(7343):952-957. doi:10.1136/bmj.324.7343.952

3. LeBlanc VR. The Effects of Acute Stress on Performance: Implications for Health Professions Education: Acad Med. 2009;84(Supplement):S25-S33. doi:10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181b37b8f

4. Stress Effects on the Body. https://www.apa.org. https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-body.aspx. Accessed November 7, 2018.

5. Publishing HH. Anxiety and physical illness. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/anxiety_and_physical_illness. Accessed December 14, 2018.

6. Van Veld R, Slaven EJ, Reynolds B, Shupe P, Woolery C. First-Year Doctor of Physical Therapy Students Demonstrate Change in Coping With Stress: J Phys Ther Educ. 2018;32(2):138-144. doi:10.1097/JTE.0000000000000037

7. Mackie K. Acute Effects of Yoga on Anxiety and Affect on University Students. [honor's thesis]. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont 2018.