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Table 1 Comparison between the intervention and control programmes

From: The impact of a self-development coaching programme on medical and dental students’ psychological health and academic performance: a randomised controlled trial


Interventional group programme

Control group programme

Programme name

‘How to Be an Ultra-Super Student’

‘Learning and Success in Health Faculties’

Course modules

(1) Unleash your inner power: information about self-efficacy and goals in life is discussed.

(1) Bloom’s taxonomy [37]: cognitive, affective and psychomotor learning levels.

(2) Manage your time effectively: different models and tips to utilize studying time efficiently.

(2) Scientific literature on variables association with success in health faculties such as the language, income, etc., with no practical points.

(3) The maximum usefulness of university lectures: different solutions to increase lecture time efficiency.

(3) Active learning potential use in health faculties.

(4) How to study and memorise effectively: skills with exercises to memorise better.

(4) The importance of scientific research.

(5) Dealing with exams: practical tips to deal with exam time.

(6) Religious teaching: Islamic teaching augments the previous skills and values in the Saudi religious and cultural context.

Audio CD contents

(1) Twenty-four study-motivation audio files.

Twenty-four audio files reiterating the contents of the programme.

(2) Short version of muscle relaxation and positive messages.

(3) Long version of muscle relaxation and positive messages.

Approaches to conducting the programme

• Motivational vocal tone and body language.

• Normal, standard approach to presenting a lecture at university.

• Success and Islamic stories (parables).

• Short questions to be answered individually or in groups.

• Famous people and Islamic quotes (metaphor).

• Recontextualised ideals.

• Personification of some values.

• Movie clips.

• Direct interaction with the audience.

• Giving coachees the freedom to choose amongst the programme techniques which suit them.


Two days (10-h programme), with multiple 10–40 min breaks.

One day (4-h programme), with multiple 10–40 min breaks.

  1. Note: The information of the intervention group was replicated from the pilot study [19] with slight modification