The purpose of this paper is to report the perceived impact of various health concerns on the academic performance of health sciences graduate students.
The American College Health Association's National College Health Assessment (ACHA‐NCHA), a 58‐item anonymous survey, was distributed to all graduate health science students during a five‐week period in the spring semester.
Students (n=1,355) were most likely to report a negative perceived academic impact related to psychosocial concerns such as stress, depression/anxiety, and relationship problems. The students' most pressing felt concerns were upper respiratory infections, stress, concerns about troubled loved ones and sleep difficulties. Clinical graduate students (n=712) were significantly more likely to report negative academic impacts related to upper respiratory infections (p=0.001), concern about a troubled friend or family member (p=0.001), sleep difficulties (p=0.005), relationship difficulties (p=0.030), and internet use/computer games (p=0.015) than non‐clinical graduate students. However, the magnitude of those differences was small.
This paper adds to one's knowledge of student health concerns, which may help to address health‐related barriers to learning.
This paper presents findings that further explicate the reciprocal relationship between student health and learning by suggesting methodology to identify priority health issues among a graduate student population. Findings from this study of over 20 different health concerns indicate that the priority health concerns of graduate health science students are primarily psychological and psychosocial health issues.
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