Document Type

Poster

Organization

Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Conference Title

SWOSU Research and Scholarly Activity Fair

City and State

Weatherford, Oklahoma

Conference Date

April 16th, 2021

Publication Date

4-16-2021

Abstract

Student pharmacists experience stress, work overload, and burnout throughout the intensive Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum. In Spring 2016, ninety-five student pharmacists were recruited from Southwestern Oklahoma State University College of Pharmacy to be a part of a study to investigate the potential usefulness of relaxation in improving personal well-being. Study participants were assigned to conduct one of the following activities: body scan, mindful meditation, 4x4 breathing meditation, power posing, or mental stimulation by using the Word Streak mobile app. After conducting the activity and providing saliva samples for evaluation of physiological biomarkers, participants completed validated surveys to assess anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD-7, and Four System Anxiety Questionnaire, FSAQ) and mindfulness (Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills, KIMS). In preparation for an upcoming mindfulness study, it was determined that the 2016 survey data was never analyzed. Therefore, our objectives were to examine past levels of anxiety and mindfulness in these student pharmacists, and to evaluate factors such as assigned activity, gender, and year in pharmacy school which could have impacted survey scores. Data were analyzed by Chi-Square tests for categorical data (GAD-7) and non-parametric tests for scores (FSAQ and KIMS) using JASP (Version 0.12.2) [JASP Team (2020), Amsterdam, the Netherlands]. No significant differences (p > 0.05) were found when evaluating the effects of assigned activity on survey results. Anxiety, as measured by GAD-7 illustrated most student pharmacists had mild and minimal anxiety levels (p < 0.001). The FSAQ results suggest student pharmacists overall had highest anxiety levels in the “somatic” category and lowest in the “feeling” category (p < 0.001). As measured by KIMS, the “observe” component of mindfulness was found to be highest in student pharmacists, while their perceived ability to “describe” thoughts, feelings, and sensations was lowest (p < 0.001). Neither gender nor year in pharmacy school significantly impacted KIMS (p > 0.337) or GAD-7 scores (p > 0.323). Within the somatic category of the FSAQ, female student pharmacists experienced higher anxiety as compared to their male counterparts (p = 0.047), and students in their second year of pharmacy school had higher anxiety scores as compared to first-year students (p < 0.015). Findings from Spring 2016 suggest that, while overall anxiety levels were low in student pharmacists, specific components of anxiety and mindfulness could be targeted for improvement. These findings will be compared to the results of current studies as being performed by these researchers, who are investigating the anxiety, mindfulness, and application of relaxation techniques in student pharmacists dealing with the challenges and uncertainty of COVID-19.

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