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pursue Honors Projects. The John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference, held in April each year, provides a public forum where students may present their
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Background: Many mental health disorders, including anxiety, are identified during young adulthood
when students are beginning college. Therapies such as weighted blankets may provide
anxiety relief, but information about the use of weighted blankets for students is
Purpose: To compare the effect of weighted versus regular blankets on anxiety, sleep, and
GPA in a sample of undergraduate students.
Conceptual framework:Measurements were operationalized through the Overall Anxiety Severity and Impairment
Methods: A pilot study using a convenience sample with random assignment was conducted. Participants
(N= 32) self-identified as belonging to one of three groups: not experiencing anxiety,
having anxiety and not taking medication, and having anxiety and taking medication.
Participants were randomly assigned to use a weighted or standard blanket throughout
the fall 2018 semester and asked to complete three online surveys including items
about sleep and the OASIS. SPSS Version 25 was used to analyze descriptive and parametric
statistics. A 2 (Blanket type: weighted, regular) x 3 (Anxiety type: no anxiety, anxiety
without medication, anxiety with medication) mixed-model ANOVA was completed to analyze
the effects of blanket type on sleep, anxiety, and GPA.
Findings: There was a statistically significant relationship between blanket type and quality
of sleep. There was also a potentially, clinically significant relationship between
blanket type and level of anxiety.
Conclusions: Weighted blankets may be helpful in improving sleep quality and decreasing anxiety
among college students. The findings provide insight into how complementary and alternative
therapies could be aligned with care provided for students by university health and
counseling services, and evidence-based practice in mental health nursing.