The research on the effectiveness of a “mindful movement and a mindful stress reduction” has been done in past but this stress reduction intervention in the physiotherapy students has not been researched much so there is a scarcity in research in this context (Felton, Coates & Christopher, 2015). This is a critical appraisal of a selected article that is a qualitative study that analyses the mindful stress- reduction intervention among the physiotherapy students. This article will be critically appraised in which there will be a detailed mention of “authorship, research question and justification, research design, research methods and results and limitations”. This work also takes into account the enablers and barriers in context with the scenario provided and the clinical question.
The critical appraisal of an article must always start with the authorship and affiliations that defines the author's credentials. The author's credentials are defined by their institutional affiliations, background, past writings and experiences (Gasparyan, Ayvazyan & Kitas, 2013). The strength of this article is that the authorship is well mentioned as there are four authors that have done institutional affiliations from Australia. The first author has a background in physiotherapy and the rest two authors have a background in psychology and the fourth one is a general practitioner. The article states that there is no conflict of interest and this is a weakness because all four authors are from three different backgrounds and it is not possible to have no conflict of interest.
This qualitative study aims to find the answer to the research question “What is the experience of physiotherapy students of a mindful movement and a mindful stress reduction intervention?” (McConville, Lewis, Chambers &Hassed, 2019). This research study finds the answer on the basis of the experience of pre-clinic physiotherapy students. This is a valid question because the interventions of mindfulness are valid but it may give different responses in different groups of individuals. The introduction section is strong as it discusses the increasing level of psychological distress among the students of the university. The strength is the introduction section that is mentioned prior to the research question and it describes that there is a requirement of enhancing the well- being outcomes and learning and it also talks about the intervention of mindfulness among health care professionals.
This is a qualitative study that aims to note the experience of physiotherapy students of a “mindful movement and a mindful stress- reduction intervention”. This is a primary study in which semi-structured interviews were employed for the identification of relevant themes. The primary method is the suitable method because the primary data is to be collected from physiotherapy students as the aim is to analyze their experience of this intervention. The qualitative study is the research design that is associated with the qualitative data that is the views, opinions and experiences of the participants and there are no numbers involved (Maxwell, 2012). The advantage of qualitative research design is that there is the open-ended question in which the participants can give detailed answers to the questions and in this study, the experiences of participants are required thus this is the best-chosen research design for this study.
This study states that there is no bias or risk of bias since there is no conflict of interest that may interfere in the results of the study. The other strength of the study that there is no bias but there may be some risk of bias in the methodology section. The bias is not mentioned properly and this may be perceived as the weakness of this research study (Higgins et al., 2013).
This is a primary qualitative study in which the method of the semi-structured interview was employed. The thematic analysis was used to segregate the common themes derived from the participants. For this research study, “cohort of 123 third- year pre-clinic physiotherapy students” were sent an invitation for the semi-structured interviews. Out of these, only seventeen students agreed to participate in this semi-structured interview and they were randomly allocated with two interventions that are either MSR or MMov group. The semi-structured interview method of the primary data collection method is a best-suited method because the open-ended questions will allow the participants to reveal their experience of the interventions in depth (Wethington &McDarby, 2015). Out of these seventeen students, only twelve agreed to be interviewed and the thematic analysis was used for data analysis.
The results were obtained as per the thematic analysis in which the common themes from the answers of the participants were deduced. The main theme of synthesized was increased self- awareness and there were five sub-themes. “The sub-themes were mental health, self- care, communication, study engagement and movement awareness”. The advantage of thematic analysis is that the large data collected is easily compressed into relevant themes that give the idea of a common ideology of the participants (Clarke, Braun & Hayfield, 2015).
The limitations section is well mentioned and it describes all the limitations that should be considered when relying on this article. This is the strength of the article that the limitations are well presented. The limitations are several and the authors give an explanation of alternative methods that could be used to diminish these limitations in future research.
The enablers of the implementation of these interventions in reducing stress are the results of this research study. The results state that it is an effective stress releasing strategy that is effective among physiotherapy students. The clinical question was "does practicing mindfulness help in reducing stress among university students?" and the enabler is this research study results. Both Steve and Debbie must be answered that yes practicing mindfulness does actually help with reducing stress. There is a direct correlation that exists between the reduction in stress and the practice of mindfulness. The enablers are also the recommendations from the authors for future research that states that this type of research should always be conducted among the students that get mindfulness training as their core course to test its effectiveness in reducing stress. It will be successful in reducing stress among university students if it is positive for the students of physiotherapy.
The barriers to implementation of this intervention among university students are the unawareness among university students for the effectiveness of mindfulness practice in reducing stress. The barriers identified are the lack of knowledge, no constant practice of mindfulness and the lack of appropriate resources like the trainer and a teacher.
The facilitators always promote the adoption of the intervention of mindfulness among university students whereas the barriers hamper its adoption among university students.
This critical appraisal of primary qualitative research aimed to find the effectiveness of mindfulness-based practice interventions in reducing stress among physiotherapy students. The introduction section is well- written that contributes to the strength of this article followed by a detailed description of all the limitations of the paper. The weakness is also mentioned which makes the reliability and applicability of this article clear. The results are formed on the basis of the thematic analysis that drew some important themes on the basis of common experiences of the participants. The authors have also given some recommendations for future research on the same topic but with different methodologies.
Clarke, V., Braun, V., & Hayfield, N. (2015). Thematic analysis. Qualitative psychology: A Practical Guide to Research Methods, 222-248.
Felton, T. M., Coates, L., & Christopher, J. C. (2015). Impact of mindfulness training on counseling students' perceptions of stress. Mindfulness, 6(2), 159-169.
Gasparyan, A. Y., Ayvazyan, L., &Kitas, G. D. (2013). Authorship problems in scholarly journals: Considerations for authors, peer reviewers and editors. Rheumatology International, 33(2), 277-284.
Higgins, J. P., Ramsay, C., Reeves, B. C., Deeks, J. J., Shea, B., Valentine, J. C., ... & Wells, G. (2013). Issues relating to study design and risk of bias when including non‐randomized studies in systematic reviews on the effects of interventions. Research Synthesis Methods, 4(1), 12-25.
Maxwell, J. A. (2012). Qualitative research design: An interactive approach (Vol. 41). United States: Sage publications.
McConville, J., Lewis, D., Chambers, R., &Hassed, C. (2019). Physiotherapy student experience of a mindful movement and a mindful stress-reduction intervention: A qualitative study. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 47(3).
Wethington, E., &McDarby, M. L. (2015). Interview methods (structured, semistructured, unstructured). The Encyclopedia of Adulthood and Aging, 1-5.
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