The Impact of Structured Interventions on the Perceived Stress and Coping Behaviors of Nursing Students

Tuesday, 19 November 2013: 10:40 AM

Margaret Williams, PhD, RN, CNE1
Sheila J. Capp, PhD, MSN2
Autumn Voss, MSN2
(1)Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing, Quincy, IL
(2)College of Nursing, Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing, Quincy, IL

Learning Objective 1: Describe student stress, coping behaviors and changes while enrolled in a stress management course.

Learning Objective 2: Implement educational strategies to facilitate improvement in coping and decrease in stress symptoms in nursing students.

Stress is a multi-faceted phenomenon with manifestations in the physiological, psychological, socio-behavioral, and spiritual domains. Faculty identified an increasing number of students whose stress levels seemed to be interfering with their academic and clinical performance.  

Purpose: A structured stress management course was designed to help students develop an increased repertoire of coping skills to manage the current demands in their lives and to transfer these skills to the workplace after graduation.  

Research Question: The major research question was: What is the impact of structured interventions on the perceived stress and coping behaviors of nursing students?

Theoretical Framework: Multiple frameworks guided the course and research study. The Whole Person Curriculum Framework, unique to this college guided the course. Watson’s Theory of Human Caring, Lazarus’s Transactional Stress Theory and the Transtheoretical Model of Planned Behavior guided the interventions and evaluation.

Population:  Nursing students enrolled in the elective stress management course, at a small Midwest college served as the population for the study. Sample size was 19, the majority were female (N=18), ages 18-22 (N=15, 83.3%) and juniors in the program. 

Research Design and Methodology: A pre-experimental design of one group pre-test post-test with reflective qualitative questions included in the pre-test and post-test. Four surveys were used: a demographic questionnaire, Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI)18, and Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS).

Results: The impact of structured interventions on the perceived stress and coping behaviors will be described. Descriptions of symptom (BSI) scores, burnout scores (MBI) and Mindfulness (MAAS) at baseline and post test will be discussed. Differences in group means based on age group differences will be shared. The following themes will be discussed: The role of self- awareness, intentional use of stress management techniques, especially breathing, self- care strategies, and gathering and connecting to try new things.