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Dott.ssa Edlira Muca

Phd thesis


Psychological factors (PF) are cognitive and noncognitive factors that can influence the students’ academic performance (1). Educational psychology highlights a list of PF that may influence the student’s performance together with academic fit and student well-being (1,3,5). Educational researchers underline the importance of studying PF component on academic performance and the need to understand the student’s well-being, in particular now that the Covid-19 had a profound impact in the education sector (6-7). It is suggested that anything which affects the student’s psychology may influence the acquisition of academic and professional veterinary clinical competence (4,6). To our knowledge, no studies have been reported in veterinary literature, particularly in the acquisition of clinical skills in relation to PF among veterinary students (2) since they are relevant especially in the acquisition of clinical competence (4). Consequently, it is necessary to study the relationships of PF, wellbeing, and academic fit with student’s competence acquisition through the veterinary curriculum.


The goal of this study is to examine the relationships of PF with students’ clinical skill performance and to evaluate the role of academic fit and well-being dynamics concerning both students’ learning outcomes and development of specific clinical skills.

Material and Methods

The effects of psychological factors on students’ academic performance will be evaluated in two
different groups of students:

1.Longitudinal Research: The group of fifth year students involved in the clinical skill laboratories. Based on the literature and with the collaboration with Psychologist of University of Turin the questionnaire has been developed and will be administered to this group of students before and after the participation at the clinical skill laboratories. This research will be conducted in several steps as below:

First step: Students will complete the first online questionnaire which includes the following, measured through scales validated in the literature and ranked using a Likert Scale
1. Psychological Factors
2. Well-Being
3. Academic Fit
4. Learning Experience
5. General learning Achievement

Second Step: Students will attend the clinical skill laboratories and perform there several simulation-based activities with the present simulators and equipment.

Third Step: The acquisition of the clinical competence will be evaluated by Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Preliminary OSCE checklists have been developed for the evaluation of the students’ performance of eight selected activities at the clinical skill labs.

Fourth Step: Student will perform the last questionnaire which will be the same as the first with some additional questions related to: 

1. Skill Lab Learning Achievement

2. Learning experience in the skill labs

2. Cross-Sectional Study: The group of the students from the first to the fourth year, not engaged in the activities at the clinical skill laboratories; thus, they will complete the questionnaire only once. The questionnaire including the following, measured through scales validated in the literature and ranked using a Likert Scale.

1. Psychological Factors

2. Well-Being

3. Academic Fit

4. Learning Experience

5. General learning Achievement

Future developments

For the following years the aims will be: 1. Longitudinal Research: develop a statistical approach to explore and describe the relation of Psychological Factors on: i. Academic Performance ii. Well-being iii. Academic Fit iv. Clinical Performance v. Acquisition of Specific Clinical Skills vi. Skill Lab Learning Achievement vii. Learning experience in the Skill Lab


1. Bhattacharya R, Bhattacharya B. Psychological factors affecting students ‟ s academic performance in higher education among students. Int J Res Dev Technol. 2015;4(1):63– 71.

2. Ganyaupfu EM. Teaching Methods and Students’ Academic Performance. Int J Humanit Soc Sci Invent ISSN (Online [Internet]. 2013;2(9):2319–7722. Available from:

3. Beharu W. Psychological Factors Affecting Students Academic Performance Among Freshman Psychology Students in Dire Dawa University. J Educ Pract. 2018;9(4):59–65.

4. Rösch T, Schaper E, Tipold A, Fischer MR, Dilly M, Ehlers JP. Clinical skills of veterinary students - a cross-sectional study of the self-concept and exposure to skills training in Hannover, Germany. BMC Vet Res. 2014;10(1):1–10.

5. McArthur ML, Andrews JR, Brand C, Hazel SJ. The prevalence of compassion fatigue among veterinary students in Australia and the associated psychological factors. J Vet Med Educ. 2017;44(1):9–21.

6. Benigno V, Dagnino F, Fante C. Exploring the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Italy’s School-in-Hospital ( SiHo ) Services : The Teachers ’ Perspective. 2021;1(2020):136–49.

7. Aristovnik A, Keržič D, Ravšelj D, Tomaževič N, Umek L. Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the life of higher education students: A global perspective. Sustain. 2020;12(20):1–34.


Last update: 04/05/2022 15:37

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