[A study on the psychological state of nurse-students of a university in affected areas of Wenchuan earthquake]

Hu Li Za Zhi. 2009 Oct;56(5):30-8.
[Article in Chinese]


Background: The 8.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Wenchuan County in Sichuan was the most destructive earthquake to hit China since the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949. It caused great environmental harm and property damage, and brought considerable psychological stress and emotional problems to many in the population.

Purpose: This study was designed to investigate the psychological state of nursing students studying at a university located within the Wenchuan earthquake zone.

Methods: Nurses were recruited using a striated cluster sampling approach. The study was conducted using a self-designed questionnaire, Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS), Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), Social Support Rating Scale (SSRS) and Coping Style Questionnaire.

Results: Most (68.8%) participants lacked sufficient knowledge regarding the earthquake, and the social support condition of college nursing students was lower than the population average (p < .001). However, degree of anxiety and depression was higher than the population average (p < .001). SSRS scores and its three dimensions were positively correlated with SAS scores and negatively correlated with SDS scores (p < .001). Participants most often employed basic problem solving approaches to deal with psychological conflicts arising from their earthquake experience. No significant difference between nursing students in different class years in terms of study variables was identified.

Conclusion: Nursing students in areas affected by the Wenchuan earthquake suffer from anxiety and depression disorders. Adequate social support represents an important intervention needed to maintain and enhance their mental health.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • China
  • Depression / etiology
  • Earthquakes*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Social Support
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*