Health science students’ well-being during distance learning: a qualitative interview study


  • Sari Pramila-Savukoski University of Oulu, Finland
  • Raila Kärnä University of Oulu, Finland
  • Heli Kuivila University of Oulu, Finland
  • Jonna Juntenen University of Oulu, Finland
  • Ashlee Oikarainen University of Oulu, Finland
  • Maria Kääriäinen University of Oulu, Finland
  • Krista Hylkilä University of Oulu, Finland
  • Kristina Mikkonen University of Oulu, Finland



Health science students, wellbeing, distance learning, pandemic, COVID-19, qualitative study


The recent shift from face-to-face learning to distance learning has affected students’ well-being, which could impact commitment to studies and lead to delays or interruptions. The aim of this study was to describe health science students’ experiences of well-being during the distance learning and social isolation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. A qualitative descriptive interview study was conducted with virtual semi-structured individual interviews. A total of 15 first-year health science students participated. Content analysis was used to analyse the data. The study identified six main categories of well-being: social relationships; healthy lifestyle; versatile everyday life; psychophysical well-being; the physical living environment; and adaptation to a new situation. The participants mainly reported satisfactory well-being, but they needed support to maintain it. The study showed that students’ well-being and resilience increased when distance learning lasted longer. In the future, it will be important to study how to combine the flexibility of distance learning with the communality of contact teaching.


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Student Experience

How to Cite

Health science students’ well-being during distance learning: a qualitative interview study. (2024). Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 21(1).