|Year : 2022 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 94-99
Attitudinal change toward yoga after its introduction in the new curriculum: A comparative study among medical students
Aparajita Mishra1, Ipsa Mohapatra1, Amrita Burma2, Bidisa Sarkar1
1 Department of Community Medicine, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Andaman Nicobar Islands Institute of Medical Sciences, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
|Date of Submission||14-Feb-2022|
|Date of Decision||23-Jul-2022|
|Date of Acceptance||06-Jun-2022|
|Date of Web Publication||21-Feb-2023|
Department of Community Medicine, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Introduction: Benefits of yoga for a healthy life and stress management are proven; yoga was introduced into the new medical curriculum (competency-based medical education) from 2019 batch. This study was conducted to compare the attitudinal change of medical students and to identify the barriers of yoga practice among those with yoga in curriculum to those without. Materials and Methods: Using a cross-sectional study design, a total of 300 students (150 each from sixth [traditional] and fourth semesters [new curriculum]) were contacted. A self-administered researcher-made questionnaire (Google form) was sent to those who consented. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 20.0. Results: In this comparative study, among fourth and sixth semester students, it was found that 43.4% of the fourth, whereas 53.7% of the sixth semester students, knew about the benefits of yoga (P = 0.040). On comparing their attitude, “it was considered to be purely a weight loss program” by 17.9% of the fourth and 8.8% of the sixth semester students, respectively (P = 0.017). 94.5% students of the fourth semester, whereas 87.1% of the sixth semester, believed that yoga helped in improving immunity (P = 0.023). The barriers for practicing yoga cited were a lack of interest (37.1% by fourth semester, whereas 40% by sixth semester) and a lack of time (33% in fourth semester and 30.5% in sixth semester). Conclusion: The study helped reveal that the integration of yoga into the medical curriculum had brought an attitudinal change in them, but had not influenced their practices. The identified barriers will help implementing yogic lifestyle education programs, increasing its acceptance among medical students.
Keywords: Attitude, benefits, knowledge, practices, yoga
|How to cite this article:|
Mishra A, Mohapatra I, Burma A, Sarkar B. Attitudinal change toward yoga after its introduction in the new curriculum: A comparative study among medical students. D Y Patil J Health Sci 2022;10:94-9
|How to cite this URL:|
Mishra A, Mohapatra I, Burma A, Sarkar B. Attitudinal change toward yoga after its introduction in the new curriculum: A comparative study among medical students. D Y Patil J Health Sci [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Mar 23];10:94-9. Available from: http://www.dypatiljhs.com/text.asp?2022/10/3/94/370112
| Introduction|| |
India being a home to a diversity of rich culture and practices, yoga is one of such old practices, “Yoga Karmasu Koushalam” (Srimad Bhagavad Geeta) (Chapter 2, sloka 50), which means “Yoga is skill in action.” Although India is the birth place of yoga, still its benefits have not been explored, the reason being a lack of awareness, interest, and misconceptions about its practices. Regular yoga practice is recognized to be a holistic approach to integrating the physical, mental, and spiritual elements of the self to enhance the overall quality of well-being.,
Studies have shown that medical students have a high level of stress, anxiety, and depression during their training., Until and unless the students themselves practice health promotional measures, they may not guide and motivate their patients and the community at large. Yoga has been found to have a positive impact in dealing with stress., Medical students who themselves practice yoga are more likely to refer patients to yoga.
The efficacy of yoga has been well documented in the literature. It makes the body healthier, as well as the mind calmer, and more controlled, thus helping toward self-realization. It has been found to be beneficial for medical students at physical, psychological, social, spiritual levels and also for better academic performance. Hence, their belief and attitude toward yoga may influence their practices and the outcomes of such interventions.
Determining medical students’ perceptions about the introduction of yoga in their curriculum would serve as a step to understand their decision to include yoga in practice and continue it in future. With competency-based medical education (CBME), yoga has been introduced in the new curriculum among medical students of 2019 MBBS batch. The earlier batches did not have yoga in their curriculum. Keeping this in mind, the study was conducted to compare the differences in the students’ attitudes toward the benefits of practicing yoga, among the batch with yoga in their curriculum to those who did not. The identification of barriers of yoga practice among them would help appraise their knowledge, attitude, and practice about the benefits of yoga; with this, the study was planned with the objectives to compare the students’ attitude toward yoga and to identify the barriers of yoga practice among them.
| Materials and Methods|| |
This was a cross-sectional study, which included medical students belonging to a medical college of eastern India, done during September–October 2020.
The study population included 300 students, 150 from MBBS 2019 (CBME batch) and 150 from MBBS 2018 batch (traditional curriculum batch). Of those, 147 students from the batch following the traditional curriculum and 145 students from the CBME batch were present and consented to be a part of the study on the day of data collection, making a final sample size of 292. The students were contacted for one session of their regular time table (online class) a week prior and informed about the activity (data collection, followed by health education related to yoga). The concept of the study was explained to the students, and written informed consent was obtained online prior to sharing the Google link. The students were mailed a link for the questionnaire. After obtaining a response, they were briefed on the benefits of yoga practice. The inclusion criteria included all the students giving informed consent, whereas the exclusion criteria included all the students absent on the date of data collection. Permission to conduct the study was sought from the Institutional Research Committee and the Institutional Ethics Committee of the institution. The IEC approval was obtained on July 28, 2020 bearing the number KIMS/KIIT/IEC/349/2020.
A structured and self-administered researcher-made questionnaire was designed after the literature review.,,, It was validated by professionals, who were subject-experts in the field. The questionnaire enumerated details on the sociodemographic parameters (age, sex, religion, family income [modified Kuppuswami scale 2019], caste, knowledge, attitude, and practices about the benefits of yoga). Google form with questions on knowledge about the benefits of yoga, their attitude, and practices was designed. The data was analyzed using Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and SPSS software (version 20.0).
| Results|| |
In this comparative study to assess the attitudinal change among students with the introduction of yoga in the curriculum, the response rate was 96.7% among the 2019 batch (fourth semester) and 98% among 2018 batch (sixth semester) students. The mean age ± standard deviation of the fourth semester and the sixth semester students was 21.02 ± 1.74 and 22.2 ± 1.68, respectively [Table 1].
Around 53.7% of the sixth semester students, whereas 43.4% of the fourth semester students, said they were aware about the benefits of yoga [Figure 1]. This difference was also found to be statistically significant (P = 0.04). A majority of the fourth semester students (51%) and sixth semester students (54.4%) considered fitness to be the primary reason for doing yoga (P = 0.743) [Figure 2].
On comparing the difference in their attitudes toward yoga, it being considered “a purely weight loss program” (P = 0.017); “improves immunity” (P = 0.023); “Yoga practice and religion go hand in hand” (P < 0.001) were found to be statistically significant [Table 2].
To find out whether the introduction of yoga in the CBME curriculum had brought about a change in the students’ practices, it was seen that 33.1% of the fourth semester, whereas 35.4% of the sixth semester, were currently practicing yoga. Reasons cited for not being able to do yoga were a lack of interest, a lack of time management, and a busy schedule [Figure 3]. Among those practicing yoga, 52.1% of the fourth semester students, whereas 63.5% of the sixth semester students, did it regularly. The frequency of practicing yoga (P = 0.036) and yoga to be taught in medical colleges (P < 0.001) had a statistically significant difference between both the groups [Table 3].
|Table 3: Practices of yoga among the study participants and reasons stated for the same (N = 100)*|
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| Discussion|| |
In the current study, there were a total of 292 medical students, 145 from the fourth semester and 147 from the sixth semester having a mean age of 21.02 ± 1.74 and 22.2 ± 1.68, respectively. In a study by Deshpande and Chari, there were a total of 278 first-year health science students having a mean age of 18.5 years. This difference can be cited because of the categorization of the study population into two groups in this study. In this study, even if the majority of the fourth semester and sixth semester students (89.7% and 85.7%, respectively) considered yoga to be necessary for leading a healthy life, only 30.3% of the fourth semester and 36.7% of the sixth semester students practiced yoga regularly. Deshpande and Chari reported that 39% of the students engaged in regular yoga practice.
In this study, around 53.7% of the sixth semester students and 43.4% of the fourth semester students agreed that they had the knowledge about the benefits of yoga, whereas in a study by Kathapillai, 88.5% of the students had the knowledge about the benefits of yoga. With respect to the importance for doing yoga, 51% of the fourth semester students and 54.4% of the sixth semester students of the current study considered fitness to be the primary reason for doing yoga, whereas Kathapillai stated that 89.2% of the students considered yoga to be important for maintaining their fitness primarily. In a study by Deshpande and Chari, 96.3% of the students were of the opinion that yoga was a weight loss program, which was in contrast to the current study where about 17.9% of the fourth semester and 8.8% of the sixth semester students thought so. In the current study, 46.9% of the fourth semester and 24.1% of the sixth semester students were of the attitude that yoga practice and religion go hand in hand, whereas in a study by Ankamreddy et al., only 18.9% of the students felt that yoga practice and religion go hand in hand.
In the current study, 84.8% of the fourth semester and 87.8% of the sixth semester students were of the opinion that yoga needed to be included in health education curriculum; 68% of the fourth semester and 55.8% of the sixth semester students were of the opinion that yoga improved their memory; 94% of the fourth semester and 94.2% of the sixth semester students felt that yoga helped in the reduction of anxiety and stress; and 89.8% of the fourth semester and 94.2% of the sixth semester students felt an overall sense of well-being by practicing yoga, whereas in a study by Deshpande and Chari, 88.7% students were of the opinion that yoga needed to be included in health science education curriculum, 97.2% were of the opinion that yoga improved their memory, 92.1% believed that yoga helped in reducing anxiety and stress, and 94% believed that they felt an overall sense of well-being by practicing yoga. These findings were nearly similar to the current study.
In the current study, the main barrier cited for not practicing yoga was “a lack of interest” followed by “a lack of time management.” Deshpande and Chari also reported that 71.9% of the students was unable to practice yoga because of the difficulty in time management. In a study by Brems et al., 95.7% students were unable to do yoga because of a lack of time, 32.7% because of a lack of interest, and 97.8% because of busy schedule. Sajwani et al. reported time management and a lack of motivation to be the dominant barriers. Time management is a major reason leading to stress. These research findings can pave new research ideas on teaching time management to the medical undergraduate students.
Though a majority of the students in the current study were of the opinion that yoga helped in improving memory, reducing anxiety and stress, and improving their academic performance, yet very few of them practiced yoga regularly. Although there was a significant attitudinal change in the students even after the integration of yoga in the CBME curriculum, there was no change in their practices. Considering the fact that medical profession is a stressful one, the first-year undergraduate students being a stressed group, knowledge about the benefits of yoga practices can play a significant role in their life by relieving their stress and anxiety and providing them with a sense of well-being, thereby it would also help in improving their immunity and academic performance.
| Conclusion|| |
Yoga aims at health promotion and disease prevention; hence, there is a strong reason for including yoga in the curriculum of medical education. The current study helped reveal that the integration of yoga into the medical curriculum had brought a significant attitudinal change in the students. They stated a lack of interest and a lack of time management to be the main barriers of yoga practice, hence necessitating the implementation of yogic lifestyle education programs among the medical students who would serve to be the future healthcare providers. Teaching sessions on time management can be included in the curriculum after proper research on the same.
Being a self-reported questionnaire-based study, there may be issues of reporting bias. Had the pandemic been not in place, we could have incorporated an observation of their yoga practices. Being a cross-sectional study, we have not followed up whether the health education provided after the collection of questionnaire brought about any change in their attitude and practices.
The authors would like to acknowledge the Department of Community Medicine, KIMS.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
The article has been read and approved by all the authors, that the requirements for authorship as stated earlier in this document have been met and that each author believes that the article represents honest work.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]
[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]