Analysis of a First Professional Year Student Wellness Program
Objective: To identify wellness-related needs and assess the impact of wellness-related offerings among first professional year pharmacy students.
Innovation: A survey tool was developed and offered to P1 students at the beginning and end of their fall and spring semesters. Additional biometric data was also collected to help identify wellness needs. Data from the first academic year (AY1) was used to develop targeted wellness interventions offered to P1 students during the subsequent academic year (AY2). Assessment strategies from AY1 were repeated with minor modifications in AY2 to identify changes in baseline needs and changes in markers across the academic year.
Critical Analysis: AY1 survey response rates varied from 20.1% to 47.4% across the semester. Frequent dissatisfaction was reported with diet, weight, and exercise. AY2 survey response rates varied from 15.8% to 58.3% across the semester. The AY2 cohort demonstrated similar dissatisfaction data; however, also demonstrated lower baseline stress scores as compared to the AY1 cohort, higher baseline BMI, and higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Individual interventions offered to AY2 students were attended by as many as 16.5% of the academic cohort. Nutrition classes exhibited stronger attendance than fitness classes.
Next Steps: The process used in this study was easily implemented and provided understanding of wellness gaps, which helped to identify interventions that were implemented and assessed. The process also demonstrated that wellness needs can vary from one population to another, reinforcing the value of periodic assessment to identify changing needs.