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Connection between mental stress and musculoskeletal symptoms to be studied at direct physiotherapy appointments at the FSHS

Are the risk factors for pain prolongation connected to mental stress in higher education students experiencing musculoskeletal symptoms or to the treatment relationship between the student and the physiotherapist? This will be studied at direct physiotherapy appointments at the FSHS.  

The study will examine whether there’s a connection between higher education students’ mental stress and musculoskeletal symptoms; how students view the treatment relationship at direct physiotherapy appointments at the FSHS; and how these factors influence pain and functional ability monitored at 0, 3 and 6 months.

“According to the 2021 Finnish Student Health and Wellbeing Survey (KOTT survey), one in three students experiences mental stress. Psychosocial risk factors, such as fear-avoidance behaviour, distorted pain beliefs, depression and anxiety, have been shown to influence the incidence, intensity and prognosis of musculoskeletal symptoms. Additionally, the client’s view on the treatment relationship has been shown to predict the efficacy of physiotherapy and the alleviation of chronic pain”, says Heidi Riska, Regional Head Nurse at the FSHS, for whom this was the starting point for a doctoral thesis.

Participation is voluntary

The study material will be collected via electronic surveys from students attending direct physiotherapy appointments during autumn and next spring. Participants will have to give their consent. The students will assess the treatment relationship after the direct appointment. Participation is voluntary, and refusal to participate will not affect the student’s treatment at the FSHS.

More information about the study

The study is part of a doctoral thesis being written by Heidi Riska, Regional Head Nurse at the FSHS, for the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä. The supervisors are Associate Professor Arto Hautala (University of Jyväskylä), Professor Jaro Karppinen (University of Oulu) and Professor Riku Nikander (University of Jyväskylä).

Heidi Riska, heidi.riska(at) Tel. 046 876 9742.

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