Care for the Caregiver: Evaluation of a Self-Care Module for Accelerated Nursing Students at Three Universities

Thursday, 25 July 2013: 1:15 PM

Barbara L. Drew, PhD1
Tracey Motter, MSN1
Ratchneewan Ross, PhD, RN1
Michelle Cameron Bozeman, BSN1
Amy L. Govoni, MSN, RN, CS2
Laura Goliat, MSN3
Patricia A. Sharpnack, DNP3
Jehad Rababah, MSN1
(1)College of Nursing, Kent State University, Kent, OH
(2)Nursing, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH
(3)Breen School of Nursing, Ursuline College, Pepper Pike, OH

Learning Objective 1: describe a strategy for incorporating self-care content and instruction into a nursing course

Learning Objective 2: discuss the findings regarding the effect of self-care practice on perceived stress in accelerated nursing students

Purpose: Stress can impair learning and performance ultimately affecting, not only the nursing student, but also clinical decisions. The purpose was to replicate and expand an evaluation of a curricular addition: experiential exposure to self-care modalities like yoga, aromatherapy, Reiki and mindful breathing. Goal was to help students regulate stress, increase mindful awareness of self and others, and expand knowledge of complimentary therapies.

Methods: During spring 2012 self-care modalities were introduced into the first semester curriculum in two universities (n=50). The comparison group at the third university was given an educational pamphlet on stress management (n=64).  Using a quasi-experimental design, we collected data at beginning, middle, and end of the semester and beginning of fall semester using the Perceived Stress Scale. Hypotheses: students who participated in mind-body self-care practice 1) perceived less stress over time, and 2) perceived less stress at the study end than students in the control group.

Results: Main effects of group and time and interaction effect of group by time were examined when missing values were present at various time points, thus hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used. In model 1 (unconditional mean model), the ICC result = .54, suggesting that 54 percent of the total variance in perceived stress was due to inter-individual differences.  The cutoff ICC is ≥ .25, indicating that it is legitimate to use HLM. In model 2 (unconditional linear growth model), the main effect of group was significant (β = 2.18, SE = .71, p <.01), while the main effect of time was not.  The interaction effect of group by time was also significant (β = 24.52, SE = .79, p <.001).

Conclusion: Findings replicate those from our pilot that students who were exposed to the self-care module were better able to regulate their experience of stress over time than students in the control group.