Engagement among Health Science Undergraduate Students (Validation of the Ultrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-S) with Health Science Undergraduate Students)

Juliana Ollé Mendes da Silva Gerson Alves Pereira Junior Izabel Cristina Meister Martins Coelho Gledson Luiz Picharski Ivete Palmira Sanson Zagonel About the authors

ABSTRACT

Entry into academic life brings about significant changes in one's life, and these changes are linked to the teaching-learning model and the student's routine. Engagement is considered the opposite of Burnout, and unlike students who suffer from academic stress, engaged students feel very connected to the activities, perceiving them as positive challenges. This research had the general objective of evaluating the Engagement Score among Health Science undergraduate students; and, the specific objectives of validating the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-S) instrument with Health Science undergraduate students; to evaluate vigor, dedication and absorption of the Engagement construct, as well as to compare scores between variables of two or more categories to obtain the Engagement Score among Health Science undergraduate students.

Method:

Cross-sectional analytical observational study with a quantitative approach.

Results:

The UWES-S was validated when applied to undergraduate students of five Health Science programs, in levels of vigor, dedication and absorption. Regarding the Dimensions Score, medicine and nursing students presented greater vigor and dedication; part-time morning class and full-time students show greater vigor and absorption; in the Absorption dimension, a higher score was observed among students up to the fourth semester of the course. As for the time dedicated to study outside university, the observed scores remained high in all three dimensions of the construct, as well as for students who practiced leisure activities. Part-time morning and full-time medical and nursing students who were married and have children, who spend much of their time studying outside university and maintain leisure activities, show a higher Engagement Score in relation to academic demands.

Conclusion:

Engagement is a recent construct to be applied to Brazil. Furthering our understanding of this construct enabled us to gain a new perspective of the academic setting, the students’ mechanisms to adapt to higher education and the need for the teacher to be within reach as a mediator and the university to act in support of this process.

KEYWORDS
Validation Studies; Health Science Students; Undergraduate; Health

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