Examining stress perceptions and coping strategies among Saudi nursing students: A systematic review

Leodoro J. Labrague*, Denise M. McEnroe-Petitte, Janet Alexis A. De Los Santos, Olaide B. Edet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Stress is a perennial problem in nursing education and Saudi student nurses are not immune. Despite the growing literature examining stress in Saudi student nurses, a broader perspective on this concept has not been explored. This paper is a report of a review systematically appraising and synthesizing existing scientific articles reporting stress perceptions and coping styles in Saudi student nurses. Design: A systematic review method guided this review. Data Sources: Four (SCOPUS, CINAHL, PubMed, Ovid) bibliographic databases were searched to locate relevant articles. Review Methods: An electronic database search was performed in August 2017 to locate studies published from 2010 onwards. The search words included: “stress” OR “psychological stress” “coping” OR “psychological adaptation” “Saudi Arabia” “student” and “nurse”. Eleven (11) articles met the inclusion criteria. Results: Review of the findings showed moderate to high stress levels in Saudi student nurses that originated mainly from heavy workloads and taking care of patients. However, when the students’ demographic characteristics were taken into account, inconclusive results were found, although some evidence showed higher stress levels in higher level students. Both active and passive coping styles were used by nursing students when dealing with stress. Conclusions: Consistent with international studies, Saudi student nurses experience a considerable levels of stress from various sources. Findings may provide a direction for nursing faculty in formulating stress interventions that are empirically tested and culturally appropriate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-200
Number of pages9
JournalNurse Education Today
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Coping
  • Nurse
  • Psychological adaptation
  • Psychological stress
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Stress
  • Student

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education


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