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The Impact of an eLearning Course on Nurses’ Attitudes towards Mental Illness

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DOI: 10.4236/ojn.2015.511107    2,017 Downloads   2,673 Views Citations

ABSTRACT

Patients with mental illness are stigmatized. Health care professionals may even perpetuate stigma towards mental illness. Thus it is important to ensure that health care professionals have positive attitudes towards patients with mental illness. The aim of this study was to estimate the impact of an eLearning course on psychiatric nurses’ attitudes towards mental illness. A cluster-randomized trial (ISRCTN32869544) design was used. Twelve wards were randomly assigned to the eLearning course (ePsychNurse.Net) group or the education as a usual group. The participants (N = 228) were allocated to the intervention (n = 115) or control group (n = 113) according their baseline ward affiliation. Attitudes were rated according to the Community Attitude towards the Mentally Ill scale. Both groups were found to have positive, not stigmatized attitudes towards mental illness. No statistically significant changes were found at three-month or nine-month follow-up. It may be that by developing the ePsychNurse.Net course to include more material related to nurses’ attitudes and as nurses become more familiar with eLearning, the course may be effective in shaping nurses’ attitudes towards mental illness. On the other hand, our study’s nine- month time span may have been too short to change nurses’ attitudes.

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Pitkänen, A. , Kontio, R. , Lahti, M. , Katajisto, J. and Välimäki, M. (2015) The Impact of an eLearning Course on Nurses’ Attitudes towards Mental Illness. Open Journal of Nursing, 5, 1004-1011. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2015.511107.

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