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September 2021 Vol. 9 No.9

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Shelile MZ
Matlali M

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Merit Research Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences (ISSN: 2354-323X) Vol. 9(9) pp. 374-382, September, 2021 

Copyright © 2021 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5526483

Original Research Article

An Explorative Enquiry into the Effects of Psycho-logical Distress among Nursing Students at the National University of Lesotho


Mpho Z. Shelile* and Maphomane Matlali


Department of Nursing, National University of Lesotho

*Corresponding Author's E-mail: shelilemz2@gmail.com / mz.shelile@nul.ls

Received: 16 August 2021  I  Accepted: 21 September 2021  I  Published: 27 September 2021  I  Article ID: MRJMMS21078
Copyright © 2021 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0.




University students have increased psychological distress than any other students in different countries Worldwide. Psychological distress is defined as a condition that one feels in response to having to cope with situations that are unsettling, frustrating or perceived as harmful or threatening. The study focused on exploring the effects of psychological distress on nursing students at National University of Lesotho. The study used an explorative and descriptive qualitative research design to collect data using semi-structured interviews from a sample of 10 nursing students. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the data and 3 themes and 11 subthemes were developed. Participants identified academic workload, time management, clinical placement, financial and socio-demographic factors as the main stressors. Poor academic performance, impaired physical wellbeing, emotional suffering and spiritual ill-health were among the identified effects of distress. The coping mechanisms which the nursing students employed included using available social support, motivating self and engaging in leisure activities. It was concluded that psychological distress has a great effect on nursing students and it results in poor academic performance and illness. Effective interventions can be adopted to improve coping with psychological stress factors and subsequent stress responses among nursing students.

Keywords: Academic performance, Coping mechanism, National University of Lesotho, Nursing students, Psychological distress














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