The effect of communication skills education on nursing students’ coping strategies in stressful situations of clinical courses

Document Type : Original Quantitative and Qualitative Research Paper


1 M. Sc. Instructor of mental health, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad, Iran

2 M. Sc Student in community Health Nursing

3 Assistant Professor in Psychiatry, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 M. Sc. in statistical sciences, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad, Iran


Introduction: Hindering factors of clinical education is stress. Which is also health- threatening for students, Interpersonal communication skills is one of the most important stress- inducing factors. Due to mutual interaction between stress and communication skills, and importance of stress- management in clinical education courses, it is necessary to intervene properly. So, this study aimed to study the effect of communication skills education on nursing students’ coping strategies in stressful situations of clinical courses.
Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, 56 students’ 3th and 4th year nursing, classified randomly in test (26) and control (30) group. Communication skills workshop was held for test group according to their own clinical course by using Role- Play method. The workshop was a two- step 10 hour course, by one week interval. Coping strategies was measured by  Lazarus- Folkman questionnaire (The ways of coping scales (revised)), before and 4 week after intervention and analyzed statistically by SPSS 11.5 using T-Test, Man Whitney U- test and Chi- square.
 Findings: Problem-focused coping was increased in test group by 13.5 %, there was a significant difference between two groups after intervention (p=0/000).  Total score of Emotional- focused coping was decreased in both groups and showed no significant difference (p> 0/005). The only significant difference in both groups was related to Escape- Avoidance strategy (p=0/043), which increased 3 times more in test group in comparison with control group.
Conclusion: Teaching communication skills, can improve coping strategies in nursing students by increasing their application of Problem- focused methods. It is recommended; teach these skills before their clinical education courses.


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