A Comparison of Psychological Well-Being, Coping Strategies, and Emotional Problems between Taiwanese and Australian Nursing Students

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Journal of Nursing Research


Background Nursing professional health courses have been reported to be very exhaustive and stressful, with most nursing students reporting moderate levels of stress. Purpose This study was designed to compare the spiritual well-being, coping strategies, psychological well-being, anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation between Taiwanese and Australian nursing students. Methods Three hundred eighty-one nursing students (180 from Taiwan and 201 from Australia) were recruited for this cross-sectional comparative research study. The Psychological Well-being Scale, Spiritual Well-being Scale, Coping Strategies Inventory Short-Form, Hamilton Anxiety Scale, Zung Depression Scale, and Brief Screen for Adolescent Depression Scale were used to collect data. SPSS 27.0 was used for data analysis. Descriptive data analysis, chi-square tests, independent t test, Pearson correlations, and stepwise multiple regressions were used to examine the research questions. Results Students in Australia had higher mean scores than Taiwanese nursing students for psychological well-being, life satisfaction/self-actualization, and using problem-focused disengagement coping strategies, whereas Taiwanese students had higher mean scores for using emotion-focused engagement coping strategies and depression than their Australian nursing students. Spiritual well-being and problem-focused disengagement were shown to be significantly and positively related to psychological well-being and significantly and negatively related to anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation in both groups. No significant difference between Australian students and Taiwanese students was found in anxiety, suicidal ideation, and negative-emotion-related alcohol use. Conclusions/Implications for Practice The multiple regressions performed in this study support life satisfaction/self-actualization and the emotion-focused disengagement coping strategy as significant predictors of anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation in both student groups. The findings of this study help nursing program faculty better understand the key factors of influence on nursing student mental health and provide a conceptual framework for using problem-focused coping strategies and spiritual education on students.

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