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Nurses' Coping Mechanisms in a Mental Health Establishment

Keorapetse Molehabangwe, Leepile Alfred Sehularo, Abel Jacobus Pienaar


The aim of this study was to explore and to describe nurses’ coping mechanisms in a mental health establishment in the North West province of South Africa so as to improve the methods of how they manage stressful situations in their care for mental healthcare users. A qualitative-explorative-descriptive and contextual design was followed to deal with the researcher’s concern. The target population included all categories of nurses who are caring for mental healthcare users in a mental health establishment in the North West province. Participants were selected purposively based on a set of selection criteria. The size of the sample was determined by data saturation which was reached after interviewing 10 nurses. Information obtained was transcribed verbatim for data analysis. Trustworthiness was ensured through credibility, dependability, transferability and confirmability techniques. The findings of the study revealed four main themes, namely psychosocial support, coaching and mentoring, stakeholder support, and suggestions for improving nurses’ coping mechanisms. From the findings of the study, recommendations were made for the nursing practice, education and research.


coping; coping mechanism; mental healthcare user

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