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Title: A model for managing psychological distress in undergraduate nursing students in South Africa
Authors: Radana, Nolundi (Jevu) 
Keywords: Nursing students;Psychological distress;Coping;Model
Issue Date: 2018
This study has its origins in the researcher’s own observations and experiences as a lecturer in mental health nursing. Specifically, it concerns the challenges associated with providing support and enabling environment for students presenting with psychological distress whilst on training. There is a dearth of literature in the Sub-Saharan Africa region regarding the prevalence of psychological distress amongst undergraduate nursing students, and there are no clear measures in place regarding how to deal with the situation, due to the lack of empirical evidence, leading to delayed referrals of students presenting with psychological distress, further compounds the psychiatric morbidity and ultimately the burden of disease in the country including institutions of higher education, which led to the formulation of the research rationale. The aim of this research study was to develop a model for management of psychological distress in undergraduate nursing students. A quantitative, descriptive, contextual and theory-generating research design was used. A 120-item questionnaire, consisting of four scales, was utilised to collect data from 848 undergraduate nursing students in the sampled universities in three provinces. SPSS-23 was employed in data analysis and descriptive, inferential statistics were generated using regression analysis, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis-tests, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Pearson’s correlation tests.
Results showed significant evidence of psychological distress mainly related to social dysfunction and anxiety. Some of the identified factors contributing to more stress whilst on training were financial and time constraints (M=3.2432, SD=
.97390); and level of education (M=3.2230, SD=.82644). Female students

seemed to be experiencing more stress (M= 2.8199, SD=.99374) related to interpersonal conflict than do males (M=2.6131, SD=.90309), t (833) =2.617, p=.009). Analysis showed that older age is associated with more stress due to interpersonal conflict (r=.096, p=.005), while younger students experienced more stress from education (r=-.104, p=.003). Results showed a significant positive relationship based on personality traits, with neurotic personality traits contributing to all four areas of psychological distress, as well as an emotion- based coping styles. An intervention guideline in the form of a model for Managing Psychological Distress was developed.
Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the Doctoral Degree in Nursing,Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2018.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Health Sciences)

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