Academic stress, immunological reaction, and academic performance among students of nursing and physiotherapy

Authors

  • Orly Sarid,

    Corresponding author
    1. Matilda & Leon Recanati School of Health Professions, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, POB 653 Beer-Sheva, Israel 84105
    • Matilda & Leon Recanati School of Health Professions, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, POB 653 Beer-Sheva, Israel 84105.
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    • Senior Instructor.

  • Ofra Anson,

    1. Matilda & Leon Recanati School of Health Professions, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, POB 653 Beer-Sheva, Israel 84105
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    • Associate Professor.

  • Arieh Yaari,

    1. Department of Virology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, POB 653 Beer-Sheva, Israel 84105
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    • Researcher.

  • Miriam Margalith

    1. Department of Virology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, POB 653 Beer-Sheva, Israel 84105
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    • Associate Professor.


Abstract

The associations among health status, health behavior, and changes in human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) specific salivary antibodies during academic stress were investigated in relation to academic achievement among nursing and physiotherapy students. Fifty-four first year students donated saliva samples and completed a pencil and paper questionnaire before (t1), during two term examinations (t2 and t3), and after grades were posted (t4). An increase in the level of specific salivary HCMV IgG and IgA antibodies from t1 to t2, and a decrease from t2 to t4 were related to academic success. Health status and health behavior remained fairly stable during the stress period. The results are congruent with the inverted U-shape model of stress and learning suggested by Yerkes & Dodson (1908). © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 27:370–377, 2004

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