Physiotherapy students' perceived stress, stressors, and reactions to stressors: a comparative study between Sweden and The Netherlands

Audy-Paul Hodselmans, Elin Hemdal, Sophie Lundberg, Anna Bjarnegård, Hans Hobbelen, Ulla Svantesson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Studies of healthcare students report increased levels of stress, with academic pressures being the greatest source. The objective of this study was to examine the differences in the overall stress level, stressors, and reactions to stressors between physiotherapy students at the University of Gothenburg (GU) and those at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences (HUAS).

METHODS: The Student-life Stress Inventory was used. The participants (n = 116) included physiotherapy students at GU and HUAS. The distribution of the questionnaire occurred during a regular lecture or in a lecture that was scheduled particularly for its distribution.

RESULTS: At GU, 13.7% of the students rated their level of stress as mild, whereas 72.5% of them rated it as moderate. The corresponding values for HUAS students were 43.9% and 43.9%, respectively. This difference between two universities was significant (p = 0.006). The total score of the subcategories indicated that the students at GU reported significantly higher levels of stressors (p = 0.027) and reactions to stressors (p = 0.003). However, there were no significant differences in the male participants between the universities.

CONCLUSION: Female students in their three-year educational program in Sweden experienced significantly more stress than Dutch female students in their four-year educational program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-300
JournalPhysiotherapy theory and practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2017



  • physiotherapy
  • higher education
  • students
  • stress

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