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Kelsey Griffen, Oscar Lederman, Rachel Morell, Hamish Fibbins, Jackie Curtis, Philip Ward and Scott Teasdale
This paper aims to examine student exercise physiologists (EPs) and student dietitians’ confidence regarding working with people with severe mental illness (SMI) pre- and…
This paper aims to examine student exercise physiologists (EPs) and student dietitians’ confidence regarding working with people with severe mental illness (SMI) pre- and post-practicum in a mental health service.
This single-arm, quality improvement project included students completing practicum within a lifestyle programme embedded in mental health services. Student EPs completed 100 h of practicum across 15 weeks as part requirement for their Bachelor of Exercise Physiology degree and student dietitians completed six weeks full-time (40 h/week) for the part requirement of their Master of Nutrition and Dietetics. Students completed the Dietetic Confidence Scale (terminology was adapted for student EPs) pre- and post-practicum.
In total, 27 student EPs and 13 student dietitians completed placement and returned pre- and post-practicum questionnaires. Pre-practicum confidence scores were 90.8 ± 17.1 and 86.9 ± 18.9 out of a possible 140 points for student EPs and student dietitians, respectively. Confidence scores increased substantially post-practicum for both student EPs [mean difference (MD) = 29.3 ± 18.8, p < 0.001, d = 1.56] and dietitian students (MD = 26.1 ± 15.9, p = 0.002, d = 1.64). There were significant improvements in confidence across all domains of the confidence questionnaire for both EPs and dietitian students.
There is a research gap in understanding the confidence levels of student EPs’ and student dietitians’ when working with people with mental illness and the impact that undertaking a practicum in a mental health setting may play. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to explore student EP and student dietitian confidence in working with people with SMI pre- and post-practicum in a mental health setting.
Hamish Fibbins, Philip Ward, Robert Stanton, Jeanette Thom, Amanda Burdett, Oscar Lederman and Simon Rosenbaum
Physical activity is increasingly recognised as critical to improving physical and mental health (MH). Understanding the education and training requirements of exercise…
Physical activity is increasingly recognised as critical to improving physical and mental health (MH). Understanding the education and training requirements of exercise professionals will support better integration of these emerging MH professionals within the multidisciplinary MH team. The purpose of this study was to determine the exposure to, knowledge and attitudes of final year exercise physiology students towards people with mental illness (MI).
Student exposure to and knowledge and attitudes of people living with MH were assessed via a 24-item online questionnaire.
In total, n = 63 out of 78 eligible students participated (81%). Of the participants, 81% (n = 51) showed a favourable attitude towards people with MI and 68% (n = 43) of participants had good knowledge of topics relating to MI. Significant correlations existed between the total score for attitude and any exposure to MH issues and having undertaken placement as part of university training and knowledge and total scores. Further training and education are needed to better equip exercise physiology graduates to work with people with MI.
This is the first study to examine the attitudes and knowledge of exercise physiology students towards people living with MI and their association with exposure to MI. Given the growing number of exercise professionals being integrated into multidisciplinary MH teams, this study may help to direct the delivery of associated training and education services.