Mental health and coping strategies among international health science students during the COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional study

Article


Nair, Ambili, Kalembo, Fatch, Zhou, Huaqiong, Ng, Linda, Hawley, Glenda, Grogan, Aaron, Ng, Leo, Chen, Wai, Daire, Judith and Lim, Eric. 2024. "Mental health and coping strategies among international health science students during the COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional study." Teaching and Learning in Nursing. 19 (1), pp. e208-e216. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.teln.2023.10.022
Article Title

Mental health and coping strategies among international health science students during the COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional study

ERA Journal ID41337
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsNair, Ambili, Kalembo, Fatch, Zhou, Huaqiong, Ng, Linda, Hawley, Glenda, Grogan, Aaron, Ng, Leo, Chen, Wai, Daire, Judith and Lim, Eric
Journal TitleTeaching and Learning in Nursing
Journal Citation19 (1), pp. e208-e216
Number of Pages9
Year2024
PublisherElsevier
Place of PublicationUnited States
ISSN1557-2013
1557-3087
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.teln.2023.10.022
Web Address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.teln.2023.10.022
Abstract

Background
Amidst the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, international students face significant mental health burdens.

Aim
This study aimed to explore international health science students’ mental health and coping abilities during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Methodology
A survey was conducted between May and September 2022 using an online questionnaire with the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale and Coping Self-Efficacy Scale.

Findings
A total of 105 international students from 3 Australian universities were recruited with 84% of the participants being nursing students. There was no comparison group of local/Australian-born students. Psychological distress was reported by 67% of respondents. Problem-focused coping prevailed with higher scores than emotional-focused and social support coping. Financial struggles with rent increased psychological distress likelihood, while social support mitigated it. Social support coping was significantly associated with psychological distress, clinical placement, and problem-focused and emotional-focused coping. Emotional-focused and Problem-focused coping was associated with participants’ age.

Discussion
The study underscores the need for affordable housing and support networks while recognizing the interdependence of coping dimensions for enhancing students' overall well-being.

KeywordsAustralia; coping strategies; COVID-19; international students; psychological distress
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420599. Nursing not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsCurtin University
School of Nursing and Midwifery
University of Queensland
Swinburne University of Technology
Fiona Stanley Hospital, Australia
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