Nonacademic qualities as predictors of performance in an undergraduate healthcare program
Objective: Nonacademic qualities such as time management, study skills, stress, and motivation have been linked to academic performance. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of this relationship to enable early remediation in a chiropractic training program. Methods: Questionnaire data were collected at the beginning of the academic year, end of semester 1, and end of semester 2. Questions were related to participants' time management, study skills, stress, and motivation. These were compared to summative assessment results. Semistructured interviews were conducted at the end of semester 1 and end of semester 2. Results: Amount of time spent studying did not correlate significantly with assessment results. At the beginning of the year, 85.7% of students participated in extracurricular activities. This reduced throughout the year; students who stopped activities were significantly more successful in assessments. When stress at the beginning of the year was compared to end of semester 1, there was a significant increase (p = .012), with further significant increases from semester 1 to the end of semester 2 (p = .001). Students were very motivated at the beginning of the year, and this was maintained to the end of semester 1 (p = .257). However, at the end of semester 2, students became significantly less motivated (p = .007). End-of-year motivation correlated with poor student outcomes (p = .056). Conclusion: Time management, study skills, stress, and motivation influenced academic performance in this sample of students. This study supports the notion that student assistance is needed. Additional research into student assistance would be beneficial.