The relation between study demands and mental health problems and the mediating role of recovery among veterinary students.
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Veterinary students experience typical kinds of stressors during their masters (Gelberg & Gelberg, 2005). A research among veterinary students in England showed that the mental health of veterinary students is significantly poorer than the mental health of the average population (Cardwell et al., 2013). The present research aimed to investigate the relationship between study demands and mental health problems among Dutch veterinary students. The second aim of the study was to investigated the relation between study demands and recovery, and the relation between recovery and mental health problems. The last aim of this study was to find out whether recovery mediates the relation between study demands and mental health problems. Focus groups and literature research helped find the most important study demands for veterinary students. Four study demands (workload, task uncertainty, work-home conflict and emotional demands), five mental health problems (depression, anxiety, stress symptoms, exhaustion and cynicism) and two dimensions of recovery (psychological detachment and relaxation) were included in the questionnaire. Results showed that study demands were positively related to all mental health problems. Emotional demands and work-home conflict were most strongly related with mental health problems. Recovery was significantly related to most of the mental health problems and study demands. In addition, this study found a partial mediating role of relaxation in the relation between study demands and mental health problems. Psychological detachment showed no mediating role, expect in the relation between work-home conflict and cynicism. In the last section, implications and limitations of the present research and indications for future research are discussed.