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Nursing students are a high risk group for mental health problems; however they rarely seek professional psychological help. The purpose of this descriptive, cross-sectional study was to examine factors predicting nursing students’ intention to seek professional psychological help by using the Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior as a framework. The participants were 343 students from a faculty of nursing in Thailand who were screened for psychological distress. Participants were asked to complete self-reported questionnaires, including a demographic data questionnaire, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, and the Professional Psychological Help-Seeking Questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and multiple regression.
The findings showed that three independent variables, attitudes toward behavior, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control that accounted for 16.3% of variance in the participants’ intention to seek professional help. Attitudes toward behavior and subjective norm can significantly predict the intention to seek professional psychological help, but the other did not. In addition, behavioral beliefs, normative beliefs, and control beliefs could predict attitudes toward behaviors, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control, respectively.The findings underscore the importance of working closely with counseling services and the professions in order to ensure nursing students’ access to needed support, to increase positive attitudes toward the help-seeking behavior of nursing students and their significant groups, and create cultures of seeking such help across nursing campuses.
Copyright: The Pacific Rim International Journal of Nursing Research, Thailand Nursing & Midwifery Council has exclusive rights to publish, reproduce and distribute the manuscript and all contents therein.
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