Psychological Distress, Depression, and Anxiety in Nursing Students: A Longitudinal Study


Healthcare (Switzerland), vol.11, no.5, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/healthcare11050636
  • Journal Name: Healthcare (Switzerland)
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, CINAHL, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: anxiety, depressive symptoms, longitudinal study, nursing students, perceived stress, psychological distress
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


The aim of this longitudinal study is to determine how stressful life events, psychological distress, depressive symptoms, and anxiety change in a cohort of students from one nursing faculty during the education process and to document the factors related to psychological distress, depressive symptoms, and anxiety during the fourth year of education. The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were applied to students within the faculty of nursing within the first week of the 2018–2019 academic year. All students were asked to answer a questionnaire measuring their possible stressful life events (first timepoint). The process was repeated for the same students again in the fourth year (second timepoint). The changes between the two timepoints were examined. Nursing students’ GHQ-12 and STAI scores and averages increased significantly from first timepoint to second timepoint (p < 0.05). There was a significant increase in the prevalence of depressive symptoms for the ≥21 cut-off point of BDI in the fourth year of the study cohort. A significant increase in perceived stress levels between the two timepoints was also found for numerous stressful life events. As a result of linear regression, “dissatisfaction with major” was found as a determinant on all scale scores. The psychological indicators increased significantly in nursing students during their education. Interventions to reduce stress, anxiety, and psychological distress are needed to improve the mental health status of nursing students.