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Physiotherapy student experience of a mindful movement and a mindful stress-reduction intervention: A qualitative study



Assessment 3: Critical appraisal of evidence



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HLSC122 Semester 1, 2020

Assessment 3: Physiotherapy student experience of a mindful movement and a mindful stress-reduction intervention: A qualitative study

Word count: 1200


One of the issues that are faced by the student is the stress that arises due to the adverse circumstances in daily life that lead to disturbance in the physiological, emotional and behaviour of the individual. The stress related to college life is dependent upon the surrounding social environment that leads to the development of stress (Sigfusdottir et al., 2016). Mindful stress reduction intervention is one of the best methods that can be applied to reduce the stress of the individual by utilizing different technique (Janssen et al., 2018). A critical appraisal is a tool that is utilized by utilizing the systemic approach to analyze the article different aspect (Elessi et al., 2019). The article is going to critically appraise the article that discusses the experience of the physiotherapy student regarding the six-week mindful-stress reduction intervention (McConville et al., 2019).

PART A – Critical appraisal


The study was performed by four researchers and they are from reputed universities that increase the relevancy of the study. The authors are from a different university which includes Latrobe University and Monash University in Australia.  The two out of four authors are a senior lecturer and associated professor in disciplinary of physiotherapy and department of general practice. The other two authors belong to other university and one of them is in the campus community division. One important aspect to understand the quality of the article is to analyze the background of the author (McNutt et al., 2018). The article is published in New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy that is one of the reputed journals that aim to provide the accurate research regarding the research in the field of the physiotherapy science and practice (Physiotherapy New Zealand, 2020).

Research question & Justification

The research question for the clinical research should be PICOT format to improve the understanding regarding the aim of the research. The PICOT format directly clears the different aspect of the research question which includes population/problem, intervention, comparison and outcome (Eriksen et al., 2018). The research question proposed in the article lacks the Picot formation that decreases the quality of the research and question raised in the article is to understand the effect of the mindful-stress reduction intervention to decrease student stress. The research question should be supported by the relevant article to identify the gap in the study that can be addressed by the research (Ratan et al., 2019). The studies have utilized the recent article to support the different aspect of the intervention to reduce the student. 


Research design

The appropriate research design is required to accurately conduct the research and qualitative method is preferred in the study were study required to understand experience regarding a phenomenon (Aspers & Corte, 2019). The studies have utilized qualitative analytics method for the study that increases the quality of the study. The semi-structured interview was conducted in the study to understand the experience of the student undergone the intervention that is considered to one of the good research design. A semi-structured interview is considered to be one of the good methods for research when the open-ended question are required to conduct the study (Adams, 2015). Ethical consideration of the study was approved by the Human Resources Ethics Committee of La Trobe University (FHEC1413) that directly improve the quality of the study and informed consent were also taken from all participants.

Research methods

The study was conducted with 17 students but it lacks information about the other aspect of the participant like background, course and degree. The study conducted by dividing the participant into two groups randomly to attend the intervention for six-hour. The sample size that is utilized to conduct a semi-structured interview depends upon the population but 25-30 participant is considered to be an accurate sample size for the study (Vasileiou et al., 2018). The study lacks the right number of participants that are required to obtaining the accurate result from the semi-structured interview. The transcription of the interview with the participant is required during the data analysis and it helps to reduce the chances of biases that can occur in data prediction (Nascimento et al., 2019). The study has interviewed with transcribing the opinion of the participant it helps to increase the accuracy of the results. 

Results and Limitations

One of the common methods that are utilized in the qualitative research id the thematic analysis as it helps to extract the important information regarding the topic by forming different themes (Javadi & Zarea, 2016). The studies have utilized the thematic analysis for data analysis and presented result in one main theme along with five subthemes. The result of the study also indicates that out of 17 only 12 students participated in the interview and the study has analyzed four themes that are common with the rest of themes frame due to difference to opinion. The study does not discuss the limitation of the study that also hamper the quality of the study  

PART B – Enablers and Barriers

The increased stress in the student is due to the misbalance of the work-life that directly increases complication by deteriorating mental and physical wellbeing of the individual. There is an increasing demand for stress-reducing intervention to improve the lifestyle of the student (Wijnen et al., 2020). One of the enablers associated with the study includes increasing demand for the stress-reducing intervention that directly increases its clinical practice. Moreover, the study presented by Meyer et al. (2018) discussed how mindful-stress reducing intervention is considered one of the best non-pharmacological methods to decrease stress and improve lifestyle. The intervention tries to rescue the stress of the individual by providing therapy that does not lead to many side effects.  Another enabler that increases the clinical relevancy of the study is associated advantage that directly improves individual wellbeing without any side effect.  

One of the barriers that can decrease the clinical relevancy of the intervention includes decreasing understanding of the health care associate that directly impact the patient opium reading the intervention. One of the studies presented by Banerjee et al. (2017) describe that decrease understanding of the staff regarding the intervention directly decrease hamper the patient trust toward the intervention. The decrease skills of the health care associate directly decrease the chances of proper implementation of the intervention. The lack of resources concerning the organization level barrier can also decrease the chances of proper implementation of the intervention (De Vibe et al., 2017). Lack of resources is also considered to be the barrier in the proper implementation of the intervention that decreases the clinical relevancy.




After analyzing the article it was revealed that the researcher has tried to cover all the different aspects that are associated with the study to improve the quality of research. But some strength and weakness were observed after the critical appraisal and some strength include recent research article, right method to conduct the study and thematic analysis. On the other hand, some weakness associated with article includes a lack of proper research question, no evidence for the study method and small sample size that can decrease the quality of results. The thematic analysis helped to answer the research the question by dividing the participant perception wit respect to themes.  But overall the research was conducted well and researchers were able to justify the research question.






Adams, W. C. (2015). Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation. California, United States: Jossey Bass Publishers.

Aspers, P., & Corte, U. (2019). What is qualitative in qualitative research? Qualitative Sociology, 42(2), 139–160. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11133-019-9413-7

Banerjee, M., Cavanagh, K., & Strauss, C. (2017). A qualitative study with healthcare staff exploring the facilitators and barriers to engaging in a self-help mindfulness-based intervention. Mindfulness, 8(6), 1653–1664. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-017-0740-z

De Vibe, M., Bjørndal, A., Fattah, S., Dyrdal, G. M., Halland, E., & Tanner-Smith, E. E. (2017). Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for improving health, quality of life and social functioning in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 13(1), 1–264. DOI:10.4073/csr.2017.11

Elessi, K., Albarqouni, L., Glasziou, P., & Chalmers, I. (2019). Promoting critical appraisal skills. The Lancet, 393(10191), 2589–2590. Doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(19)30346-0

Eriksen, M. B., & Frandsen, T. F. (2018). The impact of patient, intervention, comparison, outcome (PICO) as a search strategy tool on literature search quality: a systematic review. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA, 106(4), 420–431. https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2018.345

Janssen, M., Heerkens, Y., Kuijer, W., van der Heijden, B., & Engels, J. (2018). Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on employees’ mental health: A systematic review. PLOS ONE, 13(1), 1-37. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0191332

Javadi, M, & Zarea, K. (2016). Understanding thematic analysis and its pitfall. Journal of Client Care. 1, 34-40.

McNutt, M. K., Bradford, M., Drazen, J. M., Hanson, B., Howard, B., Jamieson, K. H., … Verma, I. M. (2018). Transparency in authors’ contributions and responsibilities to promote integrity in a scientific publication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(11), 2557–2560. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1715374115 

Meyer, J. D., Torres, E. R., Grabow, M. L., Zgierska, A. E., Teng, H. Y., Coe, C. L., & Barrett, B. P. (2018). Benefits of 8-wk mindfulness-based stress reduction or aerobic training on seasonal declines in physical activity. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 50(9), 1850–1858. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001636

Nascimento, Leandro da Silva, & Steinbruch, Fernanda Kalil. (2019). “The interviews were transcribed”, but how? Reflections on management research. RAUSP Management Journal, 54(4), 413-429.

Physiotherapy New Zealand. (2020). Physiotherapy New Zealand. Retrieved from: https://pnz.org.nz/about-pnz

Ratan, S. K., Anand, T., & Ratan, J. (2019). Formulation of research question - stepwise approach. Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons, 24. (1), 15–20. https://doi.org/10.4103/jiaps.JIAPS_76_18

Sigfusdottir, I. D., Kristjansson, A. L., Thorlindsson, T., & Allegrante, J. P. (2016). Stress and adolescent well-being: the need for an interdisciplinary framework. Health Promotion International, 2016, 1-10. DOI:10.1093/heapro/daw038

Vasileiou, K., Barnett, J., Thorpe, S., & Young, T. (2018). Characterising and justifying sample size sufficiency in interview-based studies: systematic analysis of qualitative health research over a 15-year period. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 18(148), 1-18. DOI:10.1186/s12874-018-0594-7

Wijnen, B.F.M., Lokkerbol, J., Boot, C. et al. Implementing interventions to reduce work-related stress among health-care workers: an investment appraisal from the employer’s perspective. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 93, 123–132 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00420-019-01471-y


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