Nursing students’ attitudes towards patients with borderline personality disorder
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Nursing students’ attitudes towards patients with borderline personality disorder

Abi Lugboso Registered mental health nurse, Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Chesterfield Royal Hospital, England
Aimee Aubeeluck Associate professor, University of Nottingham School of Health Sciences, England

Background Negative attitudes and stigma towards patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) exist in mental health services.

Aim To investigate the hypothesis that nursing students have negative attitudes towards patients diagnosed with BPD.

Methods Two subsets of first- and final-year students completed the ‘attitude to personality disorder’ questionnaire, which contained two sections. The first covered basic demographic questions and the second contained 37 affective statement items rated on a six-point Likert scale.

Findings Both cohorts of nursing students expressed similar attitudes towards patients with BPD. However, nursing students in the first-year cohort had higher mean scores for all questionnaire factors and total scores compared with students in the final-year cohort.

Conclusion The optimistic attitudes of mental health students towards patients with BPD were indicated through feelings of enjoyment, security, acceptance, purpose and enthusiasm. This highlighted a need for health services to provide post-qualifying education to staff to maintain optimism and challenge the dominant culture of negative attitudes towards patients with BPD.

Mental Health Practice. 20, 9, 23-29. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2017.e1179


Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 14 May 2016

Accepted: 13 January 2017

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