A survey of student nurses' attitudes toward help seeking for stress

Niall D. Galbraith, Katherine E. Brown, Elizabeth Clifton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Globally, stress in student nurses may have serious implications for health, absenteeism, and attrition. Despite this, there is scant research on student nurses' attitudes toward help seeking. Objectives: To examine student nurses' attitudes toward stress and help-seeking. Design Methods and Statistical Analysis: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey design was employed to gather data from 219 student nurses at two large U.K. universities. Two-sample chi-square tests and Fisher's exact tests were used to analyze categorical associations between responses. Results: Most had experienced stress before, believed the incidence within the profession was high, and would disclose their own stress to family/friends rather than to colleagues or professional institutions. The most popular outpatient treatment choice was social support; few would choose formal advice. The most common factor influencing inpatient treatment choice was confidentiality; for many, this factor would also lead them to seek distant rather than local inpatient care. Encouragingly, most would not lose confidence in a stressed colleague. Conclusions: Negative attitudes toward stress and help seeking may be entrenched even before training and may have a marked influence on how/whether students seek help. Nurse employers and educators should foster more supportive and accepting attitudes toward stress in order to tackle its unwanted consequences. Galbraith Brown Clifton
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-181
Number of pages11
JournalNursing Forum
Issue number3
Early online date6 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2014


  • Help seeking
  • Nursing
  • Questionnaire
  • Stress
  • Survey


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