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MAT71004 Introduction To Evidence For Health Science Practitioners

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Use descriptive statistics shown in the study guide and tutorials to answer the following questions. Then, report the answers using paragraph format into the Results section of your report. Create a subheading called ‘Sample Characteristics’.  Provide a table for part (v). 

  • How many students participated in this survey?
  • What was the response rate i.e. number who participated divided by the total number who were invited to participate (the number of students invited will be posted on the Unit Black Board site)?
  • Provide the numbers and percentages of females and males in this sample.
  • What was the mean and standard deviation for age in this sample?
  • Provide a table showing the proportion of students in each degree program.





Background: psychological distress is common among students. They experience high level of anxiety through certain periods during the semester and more so during the exam periods and other time limits. University students face copious anxiety moments related to their educational demands that can lead to growth of mental disorders. These stressors usually impacts negatively on their academics. This study examines the psychological distress and resilience in students in association to their mental well-being and that of the university community.

Methods: An online survey was conducted during the first week of the semester, the participants were a group of undergraduates in MAT71004; Introduction to Evidence for health Science Practitioners in semester2, 2018.The survey collected population  data and used the Kessler of the ten points scale of Psychological Distress to assess distress levels.  Student’s wellbeing was determined using was determined using open ended questionnaires asking students about things that make them happy and give balance. Kessler Psychological Distress Scale with a 10 item is a good forecaster of mental disorder and psychology anguish.

Results: Psychological distress level and mental health wellbeing were indirectly proportional. High distress levels were associated with students who were less happy in life and lacked balance. After all enrolled students were invited to part in the online survey. The projected incidence for mental health problem was 19.2% with 67.4% a mild mental disorder signs. These statistics were significantly higher than the general public.  were that Students with high distress level as compared to the general public had an odds ratio of 12.0(95% Confidence interval (CI):2.2-56.7) for poor academics and unhappy life as compared to the general  public. The presence of preservative interaction was long-established as the joint connotation was for times extra compared to what is expected when summing the individual’s threats of psychological distress level( synergy index 3.5, 95% CI: 1.4- 15.9)

Conclusions: The results are showing that students with higher resilience level Psychological distress in students may synergistically cause poor mental wellbeing of students which consequently causes them to lead unhappy life as compared to the general public. This study establishes some introductory and helpful facts on the psychological wellbeing of students and the revelation of the need of health practitioners to engage students.


It is expected that students will experience high stress over the semester especially around the exams. However much is not told about psychological distress and resilience in students. It is true that academic stress leads to psychological distress which consequently have harmful effects on well-being of students (Herman, 2017). The ability of to overcome academic resilience and to cope with such adversity from the experience is what is referred to as resilience. It has been confirmed by other researchers that resilience have a long term positive impact on the academic performance, learning experience and course completion by the university students.

The affiliation of psychological anguish and resilience in students and the mental wellbeing of these students compared to the general public remains unexplored for a very long time (Britt, 2015). The numerous stressors students encounter during the learning process are more likely to increase psychological morbidity, such as anxiety, depression and worry. They need to be able to overcome the stressors so as to survive in the midst of such adversity.

The notion that out of every three university students one is likely to experience psychological distress is a worrying statistic.  As it is associated with poor academic performance and unpleasant learning experience, thus there is urgent need to explore the topic psychological distress and resilience is students to help us understand how we can improve mental wellbeing of the students (Duffy, 2016). Buffering hypothesis suggest that one of the ways to protect the students from negative effects of stress is to expose them to social support. Students with little or no social support will experience extreme negative effects on their health and wellbeing.

Generally stress is high amongst university students than the general public, and highest among students doing medicine related courses, health practitioners. Mental health of university students is currently recognized globally as an international issue and requires undisrupted attention. The university students are at risk and there is sincere need for the universal early interventions to prevent severe development of mental problems among the university students.


The main objective of this study was to measure distress associated with psychology and compare it with distress levels in the general population. An online survey was necessary to be undertaken during the starting   week of the semester, the selected participants were members   of undergraduate students in MAT71004; Introduction to Evidence for health Science Practitioners in semester2, 2018.The survey collected facts from the survey conducted on the general population and used the K10 scale used to determine the level of distress affiliated to psychology for the purposes of assessing   distress levels (Stuckey, 2011).  Student’s wellbeing was determined using was determined using open ended questionnaires asking students about things that make them happy and give balance.

 Kessler Psychological Distress Scale with a 10 item is the best forecaster of illness relating to the mind and emotional distress. This was an attempt of accurately o accurately evaluating   the contribution of physical illness to psychological distress, the students were asked to quote the ratio on a ten point scale. In the past four weeks how frequently they have experienced the physical health to be the cause of anxiety feelings.

The online survey was conducted as part of the process of health service quality assurance within the university to as the mental needs of its students (Stuckey, 2011). The process began by an introduction of a clinical psychologist who was responsible for the planning and ensured that the whole procedure responded to the student’s mental needs (Nathan et al, 2012). The students were asked by the reception staff to complete the online survey with a resultant 100% feedback rate.

The students were only allowed to participate once. The research also collected some demographic data from the National health Survey for the purposes of comparison. All eligible students were allowed to participate voluntarily, they filled a consent form. Those who declined for personal reasons were also allowed to do so voluntarily. Questionnaires were only passed to those who had filled the consent forms.


 Statistics of the survey was scrutinized using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and the statistical Analysis Software (SAS) (Stuckey, 2011). Inferential and descriptive analyses were also employed for purposes of acquiring demographic information and characteristics.

Comparison was done, the students recorded a higher level of commonness of very high levels of psychological distress for all ages and genders. A very low number of 8.8% associated most of their psychological distress signs to physical illness. The items on the K10 scale that the majority of the students endorsed were tiredness, anxiety and nervousness. The projected incidence for mental health problem was 19.2% with 67.4% a mild mental disorder signs. Psychological distress was largely associated with poor academic performance and disability. The predictors of distress included regular status, financial pressure and age and gender factors.

level of psychological distress in students compared with the  National Health Survey

Level of psychological distress


University Sample

2017 national health Survey

























Very high






The research analyzed numerous levels of psychological distress using the Kessler scale of 10 points by a demographic variables as shown in the above table. There is significant difference in resilience level between junior and students due to experience. The research employed grounded theory to examine resilience among the students as they experienced transition and learning through the adverse ways becoming ready for the next experience. Study to analyze worsened as the year progresses. Multivariable regression shows that the year of study was a fundamental predictor of wellbeing, with senior students showing higher preference wellbeing due to their high resilience levels.


This research accurately presents facts obtain through a cross-sectional single survey by National Health Survey. It is evident that there is higher levels of psychological distress among students compared to the general university community. Supportive learning environment is needed to build up resilience among students.  Resilience is purely acquired through a process where the students overcome adverse conditions and gaining more experience to deal with new experience.

Limitations of this study

Since the study is a single cross-sectional survey it is not able to certainly determine the relationship between resilience and mental wellbeing of the students. It is not also possible to observe individual changes in the variables. Future researchers may use diagonal model to reveal to reveal the individual trends. Also limited demographic data collection from the national health survey has limited the understanding of the relationship between the psychological distress level and resilience in students.


The university is not only focusing on the knowledge and training of the students but also on developing personal qualities that is why they made possible for me to conduct this research study. The study has long established that there is indispensable relationship between resilience and wellbeing of the students. The students also stand higher chances to suffer from psychological distress as compared to the general public. The research reveals that students with lower resilience level are more likely to suffer from Psychological distress and may synergistically cause poor mental wellbeing of students which consequently causes them to lead unhappy life as compared to the general public.


The future researchers may conduct national longitudinal study on psychological distress of students. Major threats to wellbeing of students is the risky behaviors they choose. The parents need to keep a healthy relationship with the students against risky behaviors which may result to psychological distress during the learning process. Family and   school settings as well as individual student characteristics are associated with psychological distress and resilience in students.


Preedy, V. R., & Watson, R. R. (2010). Handbook of disease burdens and quality of life measures. New York: Springer.

Western Carolina University. (2013). Emotional distress in college students: Faculty guide for referrals. Cullowhee, N.C: Western Carolina University, Office of Public Information.

Nathan, S. Z. (2015). Need for affiliation, social networks, and psychological distress in medical students.

Chuku, G. O., & Herrman, L. (2017). The relationship between self-perceived gender typicality, self-esteem and psychological distress in college students.

In Field, R., In Duffy, J., & In James, C. (2016). Promoting law student and lawyer well-being in Australia and beyond.

Britt, T. W., & Jex, S. M. (2015). Thriving under stress: Harnessing demands in the workplace.

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2003). Use of the Kessler psychological distress scale in ABS health surveys, 2001. (ABS web site.) Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Keller, Z. A. (2014). Correlations between body mass index and psychological distress in adolescents.

Ashurst, P., & Hall, Z. (2014). Understanding women in distress. London: Tavistock/Routledge.

Berke, J. H. (2002). Beyond madness: Psychosocial interventions in psychosis. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Chandra, S., & Sharma, M. K. (2013). Research methodology.

Kydd, A., Duffy, T., & Duffy, F. J. R. (2015). The care and wellbeing of older people: A textbook for health care students. Exeter: Reflect Press.

Maisel, E. (2016). The future of mental health: Deconstructing the mental disorder paradigm.


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