Evaluation of the Immediate Impact of Relaxation Techniques on Student Psychological and Physiological Health
In 2011, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education incorporated a new objective in addressing stress mitigation in Student Pharmacists. This study investigates the acute impact of relaxation techniques on student psychological and physiological well-being by evaluating changes in (1) self-reported levels of stress and anxiety and (2) student perceptions of relaxation techniques. Student Pharmacists (aged 18 years or older) were randomly assigned to one of five treatments. These include three relaxation interventions (body scan, mindfulness, or 4 x 4 meditation) and two non-relaxation controls (power posing or app gaming). In a private setting, each subject (1) provided a pre-treatment salivary sample, (2) completed surveys assessing pretreatment stress and anxiety levels, plus provided initial perceptions regarding their treatment, (3) performed the assigned treatment, (4) completed post-treatment surveys, and (5) provided a posttreatment salivary sample. We expect relaxation techniques to lower post-treatment stress and anxiety levels more than control treatments. Accordingly, we hypothesize subjects will have improved perceptions toward conducting relaxation techniques. The ultimate goal is to change attitudes regarding the benefits of relaxation in future pharmacists.