Effect of brief Cognitive Behavior Therapy on level of Social Phobia among Nursing Students
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Anxiety and fear trigger an activation of the autonomic nervous system giving rise to several physiological symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, trembling and/or shaking. Anxiety is a natural reaction to stress that helps a person to overcome a problematic situation, but when anxiety exceeds the normal limits, it is considered as a disorder. About 30% of student nurses suffer from anxiety especially in specific situations including: test, examination and presentations. The unfavorable effects of anxiety experienced by nursing students will lead to the development of low self-esteem over a period of time which adversely affects their academic performance. One of these anxiety disorders is social anxiety disorder or Social Phobia. Social anxiety disorder is the most frequently diagnosed anxiety disorder and it is the third most commonly diagnosed psychological disorder.
To assess the level of social phobia; to assess the effect of brief cognitive behavior therapy (BCBT) on level social phobia and to find the association between level of social phobia and selected demographic variables.
The study design was pre-experimental study with one group pre-test post-test design. Study was conducted at two nursing colleges and 30 nursing students were selected purposively after screening with mini social phobia inventory (mini-SPIN). A socio-demographic profile to gather sample characteristics and a structured social phobia scale to assess the level of social phobia was used as tools to collect data. After pretest a structured interventional package which consisted of six sessions of BCBT, which included self-introduction, assessment of feared situations, psycho-education, progressive muscle relaxation technique, graded exposure to fearful situations through role-plays, class presentations and interaction sessions of one hour each. Six sessions of BCBT with three days gap between each session was implemented. The effect of therapy was assessed by using the same social phobia scale after five days.
A statistically significant reduction in the level of social phobia was found after the BCBT (t=12.98, p < 0.001). A statistically significant association was observed between the level of social phobia and age and gender of nursing students.
Brief cognitive behavior therapy was found effective in reducing level of social phobia among nursing students. Present study reveals the implications and importance of brief cognitive behavior therapy in reducing social phobia, and it is a short duration therapy comparing to the traditional cognitive behavior therapy protocols.
Social phobia; brief cognitive behavioral therapy; nursing students.