This study examined the effect of a mental well-being module on undergraduate nursing students’ knowledge and beliefs regarding causes and treatment of mental health and illness, and explored the relationship between these variables and depression and anxiety. The one group design incorporated pre-intervention, intervention and post-intervention phases, in a consecutive sample of 246 students in a 4-year BScN programme in Pakistan. A culturally sensitive, interactive mental well-being module of four hours length was delivered to three groups of approximately 40 students per group. Repeated measures ANOVA was performed to assess the difference in the mean knowledge scores. Paired t-tests investigated between-group differences on the factor scores. A total of 112 students screened positive for anxiety and depression symptoms. Repeated measures ANOVA showed a significant difference in the mean knowledge scores regarding mental illness (P < 0.001). Factor analysis resulted in four factors for the aetiology items. Paired t-test showed significant differences (P < 0.001) between psycho-social and environmental factors, supernatural and religious beliefs, and neuro-genetics. For treatment, significant differences (P < 0.001) were found between all factors – Professional and Help from others, Religiosity and Socialization, and Alternative and Medical Treatment. There was a significant and positive change in students’ mental health knowledge, beliefs and mental health-seeking behaviour and diminished stigmatized beliefs. Based on the findings, it is highly recommended to incorporate the mental well-being program in the curriculum.
- depression and anxiety
- mental health and illness
- mental well-being
- undergraduate nursing students