Medical Science Educator

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 475–487 | Cite as

A Comparative, Multi-national Analysis of the Quality of Life and Learning Factors of Medical and Non-medical Undergraduate Students

  • Marcus A. HenningEmail author
  • Julie Chen
  • Christian U. Krägeloh
  • Erin M. Hill
  • Roger Booth
  • Craig Webster
Original Research



This study compares data from two medical student cohorts early in their training from New Zealand and Hong Kong and then makes further comparisons with a non-medical group.


Questionnaires obtained information regarding educational site (universities situated in New Zealand, Hong Kong, and USA), gender, age, motivational beliefs, quality of life, and competitiveness. The study was split into two phases. The first phase focused on measuring and comparing the learning and wellbeing variables of two medical student cohorts. The second phase focussed on making further comparisons with non-medical student groups.


Responses were elicited from 353 students in medically oriented courses and 688 students with a non-medical orientation. For phase 1, the results indicated differences between the two medical student groups on measures of self-efficacy, intrinsic value, enjoyment of competition, and physical quality of life. For phase 2, differences between the medical and non-medical student groups were noted for self-efficacy, intrinsic value, enjoyment of competition, contentiousness, and physical and social quality of life.


The results provide insights into medical and non-medical students’ learning and wellbeing experiences from multi-national, multi-discipline perspectives. The results suggest that wellbeing issues of students are likely context-specific and moderated by region, curriculum, gender, and culture.


Medical and biomedical students Social science students Quality of life Motivation beliefs Competitiveness 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

Initial approval was granted by the University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee on 20 Nov 2013 Reference Number 010641. Subsequent approval was obtained from the three remaining centres.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© International Association of Medical Science Educators 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Medical and Health Sciences EducationUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care and Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education, Li Ka Shing Faculty of MedicineThe University of Hong KongPok Fu LamHong Kong
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyAUT UniversityAucklandNew Zealand
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyWest Chester UniversityWest ChesterUSA
  5. 5.Molecular Medicine & Pathology, Faculty of Medical and Health SciencesUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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