Financial Stress Among Newly Matriculated PA Students in 2014
AAPA ePoster library. Stencel K. 05/17/17; 180567; 255
Kara Stencel
Kara Stencel
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Abstract
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Purpose: Our study is the first to explore whether students' and programs' characteristics are associated with high financial stress as self-reported by a 2014 cohort of matriculating Physician Assistant (PA) students. In 2013, the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) reported that incoming PA students' level of financial concern was of importance among those with high existing and anticipated educational debt. Subsequent surveys confirmed that finances continue to be of high concern students for almost a quarter of matriculating students at the beginning of their studies, but little is known about the individual and program level factors that explain variation in financial stress. This is a novel and important area of research in PA education, and may add to the literature of health professional students' stress. Methodology: This cross-sectional study utilizes a subset of the 2014 Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) Matriculant Survey data merged with publicly available data available at PA programs' websites in January 2016. The resultant data set included 5081 unique PA student responses representing 151 PA Programs. Our main outcome was 'financial stress' operationalized as PA students self-reporting 'constant concerns' regarding finances at the time. Constant concern was defined based on prior PA literature and included student responses ranging from 1-3 on a 10 point Likert scale where 1 equals 'constant concerns.' We conducted a multivariate logistic cluster analysis to model our outcomes of interest by student descriptors and by program characteristics. Statistical significance was determined using a chi-squared statistic. Results are reported as adjusted odds ratios (ORAdj) at p ≤ 0.05. Results: We found significant associations with financial stress are explained by both individual PA student characteristics and PA program characteristics. Financial stress at the time of matriculation was significantly associated with PA students having previous student loans, high-anticipated debt from PA education, reporting any level of current consumer debt and being older than 27 years old. The highest contributing factor towards financial stress among the cohort was expecting over $100,000 in PA educational debt (ORAdj 2.40; 95% CI 1.91-3.02) when compared to students expecting less than $100,000 in PA educational debt. We found that students reporting prior educational debts over $75,000 when compared to students re...
Purpose: Our study is the first to explore whether students' and programs' characteristics are associated with high financial stress as self-reported by a 2014 cohort of matriculating Physician Assistant (PA) students. In 2013, the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) reported that incoming PA students' level of financial concern was of importance among those with high existing and anticipated educational debt. Subsequent surveys confirmed that finances continue to be of high concern students for almost a quarter of matriculating students at the beginning of their studies, but little is known about the individual and program level factors that explain variation in financial stress. This is a novel and important area of research in PA education, and may add to the literature of health professional students' stress. Methodology: This cross-sectional study utilizes a subset of the 2014 Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) Matriculant Survey data merged with publicly available data available at PA programs' websites in January 2016. The resultant data set included 5081 unique PA student responses representing 151 PA Programs. Our main outcome was 'financial stress' operationalized as PA students self-reporting 'constant concerns' regarding finances at the time. Constant concern was defined based on prior PA literature and included student responses ranging from 1-3 on a 10 point Likert scale where 1 equals 'constant concerns.' We conducted a multivariate logistic cluster analysis to model our outcomes of interest by student descriptors and by program characteristics. Statistical significance was determined using a chi-squared statistic. Results are reported as adjusted odds ratios (ORAdj) at p ≤ 0.05. Results: We found significant associations with financial stress are explained by both individual PA student characteristics and PA program characteristics. Financial stress at the time of matriculation was significantly associated with PA students having previous student loans, high-anticipated debt from PA education, reporting any level of current consumer debt and being older than 27 years old. The highest contributing factor towards financial stress among the cohort was expecting over $100,000 in PA educational debt (ORAdj 2.40; 95% CI 1.91-3.02) when compared to students expecting less than $100,000 in PA educational debt. We found that students reporting prior educational debts over $75,000 when compared to students re...
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