Grit, resilience and mindset in health students

Marlena Calo, Casey Peiris, Lucy Chipchase, Felicity Blackstock, Belinda Judd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Grit, resilience and a growth mindset are personal traits conducive to optimal learning and clinical readiness. These are important traits to consider with regards to whether a student thrives or struggles in challenging situations. Research with medical, nursing and pharmacy students demonstrates correlations of these traits with positive well-being and academic success. No research has investigated the traits of resilience, grit and mindset type together in health professional students to explore whether they are related, and none have focused on physiotherapy students. Methods: Cross-sectional study of final-year physiotherapy students (n = 134) aiming to describe the levels of these personal traits and to determine whether they are related to each other or demographic factors. Results: A proportion of physiotherapy students have low levels of resilience (25%), low academic resilience (19%) and low levels of grittiness (13%). Grit and resilience were positively related (p < 0.001). A smaller fraction of students had a fixed mindset in relation to intelligence (7%) and talent (10%). Having a mental health condition or disability and the number of hours spent in paid employment were related to personal traits. Discussion: This is the first study to document empirical evidence of physiotherapy students’ levels of grit, resilience and mindset type with a significant proportion of students having low levels of these attributes. Results have implications for clinical educators and universities seeking to improve student well-being in order to facilitate effective learning. Institutions need to consider best-practice approaches to managing and supporting these students to foster well-being for effective learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-322
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Teacher
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


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