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In recent years there has been a growing trend among students to travel for educational purposes to other countries where there is the possibility of experiencing considerable amounts of stress affecting their physical and mental functioning. The aims of the current study were to investigate the health related quality of life (HRQOL) of Nepalese students studying in South Korea to explore the relationship between HRQOL and perceived and acculturative stress, and to identify the determinants of HRQOL.
One hundred and thirty students were enrolled in this study. HRQOL was assessed using the Medical Outcomes Study Short Forms (SF-12) questionnaire. Perceived stress and acculturative stress was measured using the Perceived Stress Scale and Acculturative Stress Scale for international students, respectively. Pearson's correlation test and multiple regression analysis were performed.
Perceived stress and acculturative stress were negatively correlated with HRQOL. The highest value in the HRQOL was reported for the vitality subscale and the lowest value was reported for the role-emotional. In the regression model, perceived stress, acculturative stress, relationship with advisor, and marital status accounted for a significant (p < .001) portion of the variance (49%) in the mental component summary of the HRQOL.
The findings of this study indicate that Nepalese students studying in South Korea experience a considerable amount of perceived and acculturative stress, which is negatively related with their HRQOL. Provision of culture specific counseling and orientation programs may benefit the students. The determinants of HRQOL identified in this study were perceived stress, acculturative stress, relationship with advisor, and marital status.