THE PREVALENCE OF ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION AMONG NURSING STUDENTS AND ITS EFFECTS ON THEIR LEARNING ABILITY AT RIHBMS BUEA
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Depression and anxiety have affected over 350 million people, many individuals who suffer from depression also have anxiety and vice versa, thus making it important to analyze the effects of both of these disorders together.
This study seeks to examine the prevalence of anxiety and depression among nursing students and its effects on their learning ability at RIHBMS Buea, this study employed the case study research design strategy with a total sample size of 70 nursing students of RIHBMS Buea, a stratified random sampling technique was used for this study. Primary data was collected for the study using questionnaire as method of data collection.
Also, data was analyze using EXCEL 2016, data was presented using tables and chart. Results of the study found that constant feeling of sadness is the one major reason for depression, acute stress disorder is associated with the absence of emotional responsiveness, the study also found that Hypertension, nicotine addiction and suicidal tendencies are some of the complications that may be experienced by those with untreated anxiety.
The study concluded that nursing students with low socioeconomic status turn to be depressed due to the heavy stress associated with going to school with little to handle their needs and school obligations, the study went further to recommend that there is a need for the creation of more mental health facilities in Buea (being the area of study) and even in Cameroon seeing that they are generally lacking in Cameroon.
Anxiety and depression are mental health disorders that affect a large proportion of the world’s
population. The severity of these disorders increases if the onset is at a younger age (Vos et al.,
2012). These disorders not only affect the day to day lives of the very individuals suffering from them but also have a direct impact on their family and social environment. Comorbidity is also very common in these disorders.
Many individuals who suffer from depression also have anxiety and vice versa, thus making it important to analyze the effects of both of these disorders together (Waleed,2015).
Mental health issues and stress associated with high school education is already substantial.
However, those enrolled in A level or IB programs (The ones the students in the study were enrolled in) perceive significantly more stress (Suldo et al., 2008). These students are forced to face high levels of stress from the first years of their studies. Depression and anxiety are the most common types of mental disorders, and comorbidity is also very common with these two disorders.
Anxiety and depression have been found to be more prevalent among college students than in the general population (American College Health Association, 2013; Beiter, Nash, McCrady, Rhoades, Linscomb, Clarahan, & Sammut 2015; Holliday, Anderson, Williams, Bird, Matloc, Ali, & Suris, 2016).
Therefore, it is important to understand that stress and academic performance also have different aspects. On one hand, stress acts as a motivator for the achievement of better grades. Whereas on the other hand, there are findings that reveal that stress has a negative impact on academic performance, likely due to the presence of higher levels of anxiety and depression resulting from different stress factors among high school students.
Background of the study
Today, it is estimated that depression has affected over 350 million people. A survey conducted by the World Mental Health in 17 countries reviewed that an average of 1 in 20 people had an episode of depression in the previous years. (Dipoko,2017).
Studies from sub-Saharan Africa have also documented a high prevalence of depression among medical students. Aniebue et al reported a prevalence of 23.3% among Nigerian undergraduate medical students. Depression among medical students has been associated with the female sex.
In East Africa, a high prevalence of depression among university students has been reported. In the Cameroon content, Mental health facilities are generally lacking in Cameroon and health professionals are generally ill-equipped to deal with depression (Njim et al. 2020).
There is also a dearth of data on this topic limiting the ability of policymakers to make informed decisions to remedy the situation although a previous study reports similar findings in selected groups (medical students) in Cameroon.
There is a need for more longitudinal studies to identify predictors for depression and provide data to help inform policymakers on the need for early detection and initiation of preventive measures to limit its associated morbidity.
A recent study at Makerere University highlighted high levels of stress among medical students.
Stress prevalence was found to be as high as 57.4%, and stressors included academic curriculum, frustration with lectures, long walks to school, lack of free time for leisure activities, academic performance, parental expectations, and lack of mentorship. High-stress levels can result in deteriorating performance, depression, and other stress-induced disorders like suicidal ideation (Dipoko,2017).
Statement of the Problem
The growing rate of depression and anxiety among nursing students in both public and private universities in Cameroon has been a call for concern. Despite the numerous measures put in place by the states and educate families to boost the learning ability and academic achievements of nursing students, the majority of these students still come out with no achievements in their arena of study.
Regardless of the countless studies carried out in Cameroon on psychological disorders with depression and anxiety being a high number, there is still limited study pinpointing the prevalence and effects of these disorders on learning in our nursing milieu.
Many students stay aware of school and become depressed when they missed their classes. The growing cartography of mental health issues among nursing student in Cameroon and limited awareness of the need for detection of anxiety and depression, and the investigation and institution of appropriate preventive strategies to curb the growing problem of mental disorders in Cameroon has increased the interest of this researcher to carry out a study on prevalence and effects of anxiety and depression among nursing students learning abilities.
The objective of the Study
To investigate the prevalence of anxiety and depression among nursing students and its effects on their learning ability at RHIBMS Buea.
- To determine the prevalence of anxiety/depression among nursing students at RHIBMS Buea.
- To access nursing students’ knowledge on anxiety and depression at RHIBMS Buea.
- To investigate the effect of anxiety and depression among nursing students RHIBMS Buea.