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Original Research Articles

Psychological distress, associated factors and coping strategies among female student nurses in the Nurses' Training School Galle

Authors:

YG Ellawela ,

Trainee MD Community Medicine, PGIM, Colombo, LK
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P Fonseka

Former Professor of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenepura, LK
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Abstract

Objectives To assess the prevalence, describe selected factors associated with status of psychological distress and coping strategies among female student nurses in the Nurses‟ Training School (NTS) Galle.

Methods A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among 525 female student nurses in the NTS Galle in 2009. A self -administered questionnaire (SAQ) identified work and non-work related factors. The validated General Health Questionnaire- 30 (GHQ-30) Sinhala version was used for the assessment of the status of psychological distress, with a score of ≥6 confirming psychological distress. Problem-focused and emotion-focused coping strategies for stress were identified using a SAQ. Logistic regression analysis was applied and results were expressed as odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).

Results The prevalence of psychological distress among student nurses was 46.6% (n=239). Among work related factors, dissatisfaction about the training environment, boredom at work and fear of failure in examinations were significantly associated with psychological distress among them (p<0.05). Conflicts with colleagues and unavailability of professional counseling service in the NTS were also stressors that significantly affected the psychological distress status (p<0.05). Among non-work related factors, a death of a family member or a close person, increasing arguments with family members and missing opportunities to meet loved ones were significantly associated with psychological distress (p<0.05). More than 40% of student nurses seldom practised a problem-focused coping strategy.

Conclusions The proportion of female student nurses with psychological distress was high. Programmes to improve life skills, specially coping strategies and provision of professional counseling services are recommended.

Key words: Student nurses; Psychological distress; Coping strategies; Sri Lanka

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/jccpsl.v16i1.3868  

Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka Vol.16(1) 2011, p23-29

How to Cite: Ellawela, Y. & Fonseka, P., (2011). Psychological distress, associated factors and coping strategies among female student nurses in the Nurses' Training School Galle. Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka. 16(1), pp.23–29. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jccpsl.v16i1.3868
Published on 14 Dec 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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