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Undergraduate nursing students attitude to mental health nursing : a cluster analysis approach

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 authored by K Gough, Brenda Happell
Aims. The use of cluster analysis to determine if specific groups of students could be identified based on their attitudes towards mental health nursing following the completion of a clinical experience in a mental health setting. Background. Research suggests that nursing students generally have a negative image of mental health nursing. This can be improved following clinical exposure in mental health settings, however, specific aspects of clinical experience that might facilitate attitudinal change have been under-researched.Design. Survey. Methods. A survey was administered to students (n = 703) immediately after completion of their clinical experience. Cluster analysis was used to identify natural groupings within the study cohort.Results. Three distinct clusters were identified. Cluster 1 demonstrated more positive attitudes, greater confidence and viewedmental health more positively than students in the other two Clusters. They were more likely to be male, have spent at least 30 minute s per shift with a preceptor and have completed shifts of eight hours rather than seven hours.Conclusions. Attitudes to mental health nursing may be influenced by specific demographic characteristics of students and by specific aspects of their clinical experience. Relevance to clinical practice. The nursing workforce is an essential element of quality mental health service delivery. Knowledge about factors influencing more positive attitudes is important for structuring clinical experience and designing effective recruitment strategies to attract more students into this field of practice.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

18

Issue

22

Start Page

3155

End Page

3164

Number of Pages

10

ISSN

0962-1067

Location

United Kingdom

Publisher

Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Institute for Health and Social Science Research (IHSSR); University of Melbourne;

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Journal of clinical nursing.