University of Hertfordshire

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

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-181
Number of pages11
JournalNursing Forum
Early online date6 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2014


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


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