Experience of Psychological Distress: A Qualitative Inquiry Into Female Nursing Students of India


  • Joseph J. Kadappuran
  • Rosalito De Guzman




Nursing students, Psychological distress, Qualitative Method.


Psychological distress defines as a combination of negative emotional symptoms, such as depression,
anxiety, and stress. This study explores qualitatively, analyzes thematically, and identifies the causes and
consequences of psychological distress among Indian baccalaureate first-year female nursing students
at Kerala University of Health Sciences, South India. The participants’ experiences and perspectives
are analyzed thematically by using Braun & Clarke’s step -by- step method. In-depth semi-structured
interviews (ten participants) and focus group discussions (eight participants) were held to acquire an indepth
understanding of the lived experiences. The findings of this qualitative study show that the nursing
students endure thought problems (distorted cognitions, distressing thoughts), emotional problems (anxious
feelings, emotional stress, depressed mood), behavioral problems (poor social behavior, meaninglessness
in life, lack of dedication) physical problems (health-related, academic and clinical issues, financial, family
and hostel problems). The researchers found that psychological distress among participants is associated
with depression, anxiety, and stress.

Author Biographies

Joseph J. Kadappuran

Ph.D. Research Scholar, The Graduate School, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines

Rosalito De Guzman

Professor and Research Guide, Dept. of Clinical Psychology, The Graduate School, University of Santo Tomas, Manila,Philippines