n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Professional nurses' attitudes and perceptions towards mentally ill in an associated psychiatric hospital : quality of care

Supplement 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Research indicates that professional nurses with additional training in mental health nursing demonstrate more positive attitudes and perceptions towards mentally ill patients compared to those with less training. The aim of this study was to identify the factors which influence the attitudes and perceptions of professional nurses towards the mentally ill. A quantitative, exploratory, descriptive design was employed and cross-sectional survey was carried out among 60 professional nurses who were in permanent employment at a governmental associated psychiatric hospital in the Western Cape, South Africa. The findings indicated that nurses with post-registration diplomas in psychiatric nursing reported significantly higher role competency than those who only completed the basic four-year comprehensive nursing programme. The ethnicity of nurses played a role in the stereotyping of the mentally ill. No significant differences were evident between those professional nurses who had completed the advanced mental health course and those who had not. It is thus recommended that an introductory programme that addresses fallacies and negative attitudes towards the mentally ill should be made mandatory for all the students from the very early stages of their training.

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