The purpose of this presentation is to share the findings of a study using an educational intervention designed and embedded into an undergraduate nursing curriculum in year one. The aim was to understand if there was a change in the undergraduate nurses’ attitudes and beliefs towards those who experience mental health issues following experiences of face-to-face interaction with those who experience mental health issues.
A before and after quantitative study was designed. Using Corrigan’s Attribution questionnaire to collect data pre and post-clinical experience in an acute mental health unit
It was found that stigma continues to be an issue in nursing education. The results showed that face-to-face interaction can not only change stigmatising beliefs of the undergraduate nurse towards those with mental health issues in a positive way, but also influenced and developed critical thinking as a nurse.
Reducing stigma has the potential to improve nursing care for those that experience mental health issues across the clinical areas, not just in mental health as graduate nurses are employed in diverse roles.
Key words: Undergraduate; nursing education; mental health; attitudes; stigma.