Measuring depression, anxiety, and stress in nursing students using the DASS-21 scale

Depression, anxiety, and stress are common among college-aged students in America, with 1 in 5 students experiencing anxiety and/or depression; many students go untreated for these negative mental states because of the social stigma attached to therapy and medication or because of a lack of available resources available to these students (Paynenburg & Mehta, 2019). Prolonged negative mental states in nursing students can lead to an increase in adverse patient outcomes such as medication errors (1 in 5 nurses had reported medication errors to occur in their patients occasionally and frequently) and inability to recall important assessment information or orders (Maharaj, Lees & Lal, 2018). Patient outcomes can vary from adverse medication reactions or even death.
Nursing school students were predicted to have high levels of depression, anxiety, and stress due to academic and career pressures. Academic literature research showed that the DASS-21 was a reliable tool to measure depression, anxiety, and stress in nursing students and registered nurses. Before the assessment, a pilot study with two volunteers was completed; their responses are not included in the final data set. A sample of 50 nursing students from the Fall 2019 University of West Florida Bachelor of Science Nursing program volunteered to take the DASS-21 using a secure online survey tool, Qualtrics. Depression levels were the lowest of the three domains. The average scores for depression anxiety, and stress were 4.84 out of 14, 7.96 out of 10, and 9.08 out of 17 respectively.
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Abstract/Description: Depression, anxiety, and stress are common among college-aged students in America, with 1 in 5 students experiencing anxiety and/or depression; many students go untreated for these negative mental states because of the social stigma attached to therapy and medication or because of a lack of available resources available to these students (Paynenburg & Mehta, 2019). Prolonged negative mental states in nursing students can lead to an increase in adverse patient outcomes such as medication errors (1 in 5 nurses had reported medication errors to occur in their patients occasionally and frequently) and inability to recall important assessment information or orders (Maharaj, Lees & Lal, 2018). Patient outcomes can vary from adverse medication reactions or even death. Nursing school students were predicted to have high levels of depression, anxiety, and stress due to academic and career pressures. Academic literature research showed that the DASS-21 was a reliable tool to measure depression, anxiety, and stress in nursing students and registered nurses. Before the assessment, a pilot study with two volunteers was completed; their responses are not included in the final data set. A sample of 50 nursing students from the Fall 2019 University of West Florida Bachelor of Science Nursing program volunteered to take the DASS-21 using a secure online survey tool, Qualtrics. Depression levels were the lowest of the three domains. The average scores for depression anxiety, and stress were 4.84 out of 14, 7.96 out of 10, and 9.08 out of 17 respectively.
Subject(s): 2019
Undergraduate Research
DASS-21
Depression, anxiety, and stress
Nursing students