Title : The use of electroencephalographic (EEG) wearable technology in stress management of nursing students: A mixed methods study
This explanatory sequential mixed methods study was conducted to determine if Electroencephalographic (EEG) wearable technology, which senses several types of brainwaves, can be used for stress management by students in a bachelor’s of nursing program. Student volunteers from a nursing program completed the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and an initial questionnaire through which students rated their perceptions regarding use of the device to manage stress. Participants included 10 students randomly selected from these volunteers. The chosen participants then wore the EEG device in their own environments three times a week for 6 weeks with each session lasting 5 minutes. Before Week 1, the researcher conducted initial interviews with the subjects. From Weeks 2 to 5, the participants answered interim questionnaires. In Week 4, the researcher conducted interim interviews. In Week 6, the participants answered a summative questionnaire and submitted their journals, after which the researcher conducted the summative interviews. A total of seven case studies were formulated and compiled. Online questionnaires, transcribed interviews, and journal entries were coded, and five major themes emerged: (a) Perceptions of Wearable Technology, (b) Perceptions of Stress, (c) Perceptions of Coping Mechanisms, (d) Perceptions of Meditation, and (e) Perceptions of the EEG Device for Stress Management. These participants submitted responses to questionnaires regarding their stress ratings before and after using the device. Inferential statistics indicated no significant difference between the number of trials that were rated “decrease in stress levels” and trials that were rated “no change in stress levels.” Four out of the seven participants generally had positive opinions regarding the use of the device. Two of these four wanted to continue using the device after the study. One liked the device, but preferred to perform traditional meditation instead, while one did not indicate any intention of wanting to continue using the device. Three out of seven participants disliked using the device. Despite differences of opinion regarding the use of the device, each of the participants formulated their own meaning and perceptions of the efficacy of the device based on their personal experiences of the study.