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Improving mental health of student and novice nurses to prevent dropout: a systematic review.

Bakker, E.J.M., Kox, J.H.A.M., Boot, C.R.L., Francke, A.L., Beek, A.J. van der, Roelofs, P.D.D.M. Improving mental health of student and novice nurses to prevent dropout: a systematic review. Journal of Advanced Nursing: 2020, 76(10), 2494-2509
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Aims
To provide:
(a) an overview of interventions aimed at improving mental health of student or novice nurses;
(b) an evaluation of their effectiveness on dropoutrelated outcomes.

Design
Systematic review.

Data sources
Research papers published between January 1971–February 2019 were identified from the following databases: Embase, Medline, PsycInfo, CINAHL, ERIC, the Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and Google Scholar.

Review methods
We followed the procedures recommended by the Editorial Board of the Cochrane Collaboration Back Review Group. We included peer-reviewed articles with a quantitative research design, examining interventions aimed at improving mental health of student and novice nurses and their effect on dropout-related outcomes. The large variation in studies prohibited statistical pooling and a synthesis without meta-analysis of studies was performed.

Results
We identified 21 studies with three areas of focus: managing stress or stressors (N = 4); facilitating the transition to nursing practice (N = 14); and a combined approach (N = 3). Five studies showed a statistically significant effect on dropoutrelated outcomes. The overall risk of bias was high.

Conclusion
A wide range of interventions are available, but the evidence for their effectiveness is limited. There is a need for high-quality studies in this field, preferably with a randomized controlled design.