Date of Award

8-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Shannon Cleverley-Thompson

Abstract

Anxiety is the number one health issue college students seek help for on campus (Grasgreen, 2011). An estimated 62% of college students did not continue their studies due to suffering from anxiety (Lindsey, 2014). Psychotherapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychotropic medications have been used for many years to treat anxiety. CBT and medication have been found to be effective treatment strategies when individuals are compliant with treatment; however, both strategies require access to a trained professional and can become a financial burden. Therefore, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a potential effective treatment strategy for anxiety, which can be affordable and used independently, without a trained professional. The purpose of this study was to determine if CAM modalities are effective in reducing anxiety symptoms in college students. The results of this study indicate that CAM modalities are effective at reducing both state and trait anxiety symptoms after a one-hour session in a designated relaxation space. The CAM Usage Survey indicated the most used CAM modalities and the most enjoyed CAM modalities were the massage chair and aromatherapy scoring the highest. The current study adds to the body of knowledge on effective treatment strategies for college student anxiety that are accessible and affordable (Ratanasiripong et al., 2012). The main recommendation from this study is reducing student anxiety by developing relaxation rooms equipped with massage chair(s) and aromatherapy on college campuses.

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