Promoting Student Wellness Resources: Development of the Student Smartphone App
Healthcare academic programs focus curriculum on teaching students how to positively impact their future patients towards improved health and wellness, but what are educators doing to address these issues in their own students? Increased frequencies of stress in students in rigorous medical academic programs have been shown to result in a higher degree of burnout.1 Stress, anxiety, and depression impact the studentÕs ability to perform academically, with 32% of medical students in a recent study reporting decreased academic performance due to anxiety and depression.2 Studies show that medical and other graduate students are vulnerable to a variety of mental health conditions, particularly anxiety and depression.3-6 The effects of burnout also lead to disengagement from other students, faculty and the learning experience.1 Student burnout decreases the amount of energy and motivation, which can hinder the studentÕs ability to complete the academic programs. Mental health resources are generally available at the university level, but students may not be aware of how to access those resources when needed. Investigators, in conjunction with an application development company, developed a smartphone app to address student wellness for a regional campus. The purpose of the app was to keep students informed of ongoing campus events and resources to address student mental wellness.
The smartphone app was to address one main objective, to develop a student friendly tool to maintain and increase student level of resource awareness. The project team developed a student survey to determine the level of student awareness of wellness resources available on the academic campus. Students were surveyed during the first 2 weeks of the fall semester with a follow-up survey during the last 2 weeks of the spring semester. The project team worked with the university Student Wellness Program to determine the utilization of services by students during the same academic year. This number was compared to the records of the past three years to determine if there was an increase in utilization following the development of the wellness app.
Following app development and launch, 64% of the Interprofessional student body had downloaded the student wellness app. The app was utilized to share student wellness campus events, such as lunch & learns, meditation sessions, student-only yoga events, and therapy dog visits, along with allowing students to securely request appointments with the campus Student Wellness office. The final data of this study will be completed in May 2020, with a full analysis of data to be completed by July 2020.
Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme:
Enhancing Team Well-being through Physical Therapy Education This session relates to the conference thematic area Enhancing Student Resilience and Success in Physical Therapy Education.