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Cognitive Flexibility and Intolerance of Uncertainty amongst Undergraduate Dental and Medical Students during COVID-19 in a Healthcare University
As the pandemic unfolded, the uncertainty about the continuity of learning became a source of stress for medical and dental undergraduates. Cognitive flexibility (CF) is one’s capacity to adapt in response to environmental changes. CF correlated with intolerance of uncertainty (IU) which influences one’s reaction to events. Previous literature has analyzed students’ CF and IU. However, CF and IU during the COVID-19 pandemic needs to be explored especially for medical and dental students as these courses are practical skill based and when taught virtually can give rise to stress students and create self-doubt of their abilities. The Cognitive Flexibility Scale (CFS) and Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale (IUS) scales were administered to 74 medical and 89 dental students. An independent t-test revealed a significant difference in CF and IU between the medical and dental students. Dental students possessed lower CF and higher IU as opposed to medical students. A simple linear regression, IU was found to be inversely predicted by CF. The findings infer that medical students who have high CF are able to adjust to changes such as the sudden transformation to online learning settings during uncertain events like the COVID-19 pandemic as opposed to dental students. This study implies that the university needs to devise an intervention to assist dental students, particularly prepare them to face challenges and, to adapt to uncertainties in future.
COVID-19, dental education, dental students, medical education, medical students, mental health
Citation: Hui Yi Kong, Yin Yin Lee, Shamala Ramasamy and Kirti Saxena (2023). Cognitive Flexibility and Intolerance of Uncertainty amongst Undergraduate Dental and Medical Students during COVID-19 in a Healthcare University. Horizon J. Hum. Soc. Sci. Res. 5 (2), 71–86. https://doi.org/10.37534/bp.jhssr.2023.v5.n2.id1223.p71
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