To examine the effects of mindfulness on learning and study strategies of doctor of physical therapy (DPT) students utilizing the LASSI (Learning and Study Strategies Inventory), a group advising session, mindfulness training, and a mindfulness tracker. The LASSI was previously used with DPT students in a pilot study (2016). Results indicated as anxiety a primary issue impacting learning and study strategies. The current study examines how providing mindfulness training along with the LASSI assessment to first year DPT students impacts learning and studying strategies and overall academic success. The study will compare three groups. The control group will replicate the pilot study and receive the LASSI and group advising. One experimental group will receive the LASSI and group advising along with one mindfulness skills training session. The second experimental group will receive the LASSI and group advising, one mindfulness skills training session, and mindfulness/activity tracking device. All groups will repeat the LASSI at the end of the study to determine any change in LASSI scores. The study will also compare undergraduate grade point average (GPA), semester grades, semester GPA, and overall GPA throughout the students' time in the DPT program to the LASSI scores and change in LASSI scores.
First year DPT students that chose participate completed the LASSI at the beginning of the semester along with a group advising session to review the automatically generated recommendations. The inventory is 60 questions & generally takes less than 20 minutes to complete. The topics covered are anxiety, attitude, concentration, processing, motivation, self-testing, selecting main ideas, study aids, time management & test strategies. Students completed the survey online then received an immediate email copy of their results and analysis of the 10 sections. The group advising session consisted of one meeting that lasted approximately 45 minutes & was provided during the fourth week of the semester. All participants completed the LASSI & group advising session. Group 1 also attended a 45 minute mindfulness skills training group session provided by a Graduate Counseling research student. They were taught one skill for mindful breathing & one skill for emotional awareness. Group 2 was the control group. Group 3 also attended a 45 minute mindfulness skills training group session & a 30 minute informational session regarding use of the mindfulness/activity tracker provided by a Graduate Counseling research student. At the end of the study period (April 19, 2017), participants will complete the LASSI again for comparison to the preliminary survey.
Pre-test Group Mean score (the scores are on a scale of 0-100, with the higher the number being positive):
Information Processing: 55
Selecting Main Ideas: 29
Test Strategies: 52
Time Management: 57
Using Academic Resources: 37
Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Through the Looking Glass: Transforming Physical Therapy Education
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