The effect of psychiatric nursing students' internships on their beliefs about and attitudes toward mental health problems; a single-group experimental study
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Background: It is important that nursing students develop positive beliefs and attitudes toward individuals with mental health problems during nursing education in order to provide an effective nursing care and create a therapeutic environment. Objective: This study was conducted to analyze the effect of psychiatric nursing internship practice and the personal characteristics and preferences of psychiatric nursing interns on their beliefs and attitudes toward mental illnesses. Design: This is a single group experimental study with a pre-test and post-test. Participants: The study sample included 33 fourth-year nursing students enrolled in the School of Health who participated in an internship in psychiatric nursing. Methodology: The study data were collected using a student information form, the Community Attitudes Toward the Mentally Ill Scale (CAMI) and the Beliefs Toward Mental Illness Scale (BMI) at the beginning and end of the 14-week internship of 32 h per week. Findings: The students' beliefs and attitudes toward mental health problems were found to be moderate with no significant differences between mean pre-test and post-test scores. Conclusion: The psychiatry nursing internship practice yielded minimal positive changes in students' beliefs and attitudes toward mental health problems. Initiation of the process of developing positive attitudes and beliefs in the first year of nursing education and increasing the internship period may provide more effective results.