DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2320-6012.ijrms20175733

Undergraduate nursing students’ attitude towards mental illness: a cross sectional study

Ravi C. Sharma, Dinesh D. Sharma, Neeraj Kanwar, Pankaj Kanwar, Santosh Manta

Abstract


Background: People suffering from mental illness commonly face stigma, bias, and discrimination by general public. Health care professionals are not immune to social biases and share the public's attitude meted out to people with mental illness. Nursing students are future health manpower. There are only few studies conducted on medical students’ attitude towards people with mental illnesses in India. We have planned this study to examine the undergraduate nursing students’ attitude towards people suffering from mental illnesses.

Methods: It was a cross-sectional study. A total of 220 undergraduate nursing students were selected randomly with their consent to complete the Attitude Scale for Mental Illness (ASMI).

Results: The nursing students were found to have a significant positive attitude towards mental illness in five of the six attitudes factors: Restrictiveness (8.42), benevolence (28.6) and stigmatization (7.3), separatism (15.6) and stereotype (9.4) However, these students had negative attitude in pessimistic predictions (12.5) domain as they rated this domain slightly on the higher side.

Conclusions: Academic education in this field must be conceptualized and planned in order to favor the change of the attitudes that includes greater utilization of those teaching strategies that challenge beliefs and assumptions and promote a commitment to provide holistic care to people with mental illness.


Keywords


Attitude, Mental illness, Nursing students

Full Text:

PDF

References


Emrich K, Thompson TC, Moore G. Positive attitude. An essential element for effective care of people with mental illnesses. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2003;41:18-25.

Shattell MM, Starr SS, Thomas SP. ’Take my hand, help me out’: Mental health service recipients’ experience of the therapeutic relationship. Int J Ment Health Nurs. 2007;16:274-84.

Callaghan P, Shan CS, Yu LS, Ching LW, Kwan TL. Attitudes towards mental illness: Testing the contact hypothesis among Chinese student nurses in Hong Kong. J Adv Nurs. 1997;26:33-40.

Happell B, Gough Nee Hayman-White K. Undergraduate nursing students’ attitudes towards mental health nursing: Determining the influencing factors. Contemp Nurse. 2007;25:72-81.

Jadhav S, Littlewood R, Ryder AG, Chakraborty A, Jain S, Barua M. Stigmatization of severe mental illness in India: Against the simple industrialization hypothesis. Indian J Psychiatry. 2007;49:189-94.

Avanci Rde C, Malaguti SE, Pedrão LJ. Authoritarianism and benevolence towards mental illness: Study with beginning a nursing program. Rev Lat Am Enfermagem. 2002;10:509-15.

Pedrão LJ, Avanci Rde C, Malaguti SE. Profile of undergraduate nursing students’ attitudes towards mental disease, before the influence of specific academic education. Rev Lat Am Enfermagem. 2002;10:794-9.

Surgenor LJ, Dunn J, Horn J. Nursing student attitudes to psychiatric nursing and psychiatric disorders in New Zealand. Int J Ment Health Nurs. 2005;14:103-8.

Schafer T, Wood S, Williams R. A survey into student nurses’ attitudes towards mental illness: Implications for nurse training. Nurse Educ Today. 2011;31:328-32.

Ng P, Chan KF. Sex differences in opinion towards mental illness of secondary school students in Hong Kong. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2000;46:79-88.

Hinkelman L, Granello DH. Biological sex, adherence to traditional gender roles, and attitudes toward persons with mental illness: An exploratory investigation. J Ment Health Couns. 2003;25:259-70.

Byrne P. Stigma of mental illness and ways of diminishing it. Adv Psychiatr Treat. 2000;6:65-72.

Lingeswaran A. Psychiatric curriculum and its impact on the attitude of Indian undergraduate medical students and interns. Indian J Psychol Med. 2010;32:119-27.

Hamaideh SH, Mudallal R. Attitudes of Jordanian nursing students towards mental illness: the effect of teaching and contact on attitudes change. Coll Stud J. 2009;43:2.

Ku TK. Culture and Stigma towards Mental Illness: A Comparison of General and Psychiatric Nurses of Chinese and Anglo-Australian Backgrounds School of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne; 2007.

Ojanen M. Attitudes towards mental patients. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 1992;38:120-30.

Alexander LA, Link BG. The impact of contact on stigmatizing attitudes towards people with mental illness. J Ment Health. 2003;12:271-89.

Angermeyer MC, Beck M, Dietrich S, Holzinger A. The stigma of mental illness: Patients’ anticipations and experiences. Int J Soc Psychiatr. 2004;50:153-62.