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Open AccessArticle

Level of Stigma among Spanish Nursing Students toward Mental Illness and Associated Factors: A Mixed-Methods Study

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Department of Nursing, Ciudad Real Nursing Faculty, University of Castilla-La Mancha, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain
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Department of Emergency, Hospital General of Ciudad Real, 13005 Ciudad Real, Spain
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Department of Nursing, Alicante Nursing Faculty, University of Alicante, 03080 Alicante, Spain
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Department of Sociology, Social Work and Public Health, University of Huelva, 21071 Huelva, Spain
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Safety and Health Postgraduate Programme, Universidad Espíritu Santo, Guayaquil 091650, Ecuador
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4870; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234870
Received: 1 October 2019 / Revised: 29 November 2019 / Accepted: 2 December 2019 / Published: 3 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stigma, Health and Wellbeing)
Mental health problems have been identified by the World Health Organization as a global development priority. Negative attitudes toward mental health patients have been documented in multiple health professionals. The aim of this study was to determine the level of stigma and associated factors toward people with mental health problems among students doing their degree in nursing. An explanatory sequential mixed-methods approach. A cross-sectional descriptive observational study was carried out on a sample of 359 students doing their degree in nursing. Students had to be enrolled in any of the four years of study of the degree at the time the questionnaire was done. We explored the perception and experience of students doing their degree in nursing regarding the level of stigma, through in-depth interviews (n = 30). The mean overall Mental Health Stigma Scale (MHSS) score was 30.7 points (SD = 4.52); 29.5% (n = 106) scored low for stigma, 49.9% (n = 179) showed moderate stigma, and 20.6% (n = 74) scored high. The multivariate analysis showed that 4th-year students had an OR of 0.41 (CI95%: 0.20–0.84) for high/moderate stigma and that 3rd-year students had an OR of 0.49 for high/moderate stigma compared with 1st-year students. We also observed that students with family members with mental health problems had an OR of 2.05 (CI95%: 1.19–3.56) for high/moderate stigma compared with students who did not have family members with mental health problems. The following categories emerged: fear and lack of knowledge, breaking the silence, and integration into society. The levels of mental health stigma in our sample of nursing students were moderate. Stigma levels were lower in 3rd- and 4th-year students (i.e., after having received training in mental health), and in students with family members with mental health problems. View Full-Text
Keywords: nursing students; nurses; mental illness; mental health; public health; stigma; mixed methods nursing students; nurses; mental illness; mental health; public health; stigma; mixed methods
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Rodríguez-Almagro, J.; Hernández-Martínez, A.; Rodríguez-Almagro, D.; Quiros-García, J.M.; Solano-Ruiz, M.C.; Gómez-Salgado, J. Level of Stigma among Spanish Nursing Students toward Mental Illness and Associated Factors: A Mixed-Methods Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4870.

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