Associations of coping and health-related behaviors with medical students' well-

Associations of coping and health-related behaviors with medical students' well-being and performance during objective structured clinical examination

These findings emphasize the need to promote physical activity and good sleep hygiene at universities, and support the development of stress managing programs focusing on positive thinking for medical students. Our results highlight the importance of identifying and helping students who engage in avoidance behaviors.

Barret N, Guillaumée T, Rimmelé T, Cortet M, Mazza S, Duclos A, Rode G, Lilot M, Schlatter S.
Sci Rep. 2024 May 17;14(1):11298. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-61800-1.

PMID: 38760478

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Objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) is a valid method to evaluate medical students' competencies. The present cross-sectional study aimed at determining how students' coping and health-related behaviors are associated with their psychological well-being and performance on the day of the OSCE. Fourth-year medical students answered a set of standardized questionnaires assessing their coping (BCI) and health-related behaviors before the examination (sleep PSQI, physical activity GPAQ). Immediately before the OSCE, they reported their level of instant psychological well-being on multi-dimensional visual analogue scales. OSCE performance was assessed by examiners blinded to the study. Associations were explored using multivariable linear regression models. A total of 482 students were included. Instant psychological well-being was positively associated with the level of positive thinking and of physical activity. It was negatively associated with the level of avoidance and of sleep disturbance. Furthermore, performance was negatively associated with the level of avoidance. Positive thinking, good sleep quality, and higher level of physical activity were all associated with improved well-being before the OSCE. Conversely, avoidance coping behaviors seem to be detrimental to both well-being and OSCE performance. The recommendation is to pay special attention to students who engage in avoidance and to consider implementing stress management programs.Clinical trial: The study protocol was registered on NCT05393206, date of registration: 11 June 2022.
Keywords: Academic; Avoidance; Cope; Medical students; Performance; Physical activity; Positive thinking; Sleep; Stress.

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