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Knowledge and attitudes towards psychological counselling and guidance among undergraduates in Sri lanka

Author: 
Abhayasinghe, M P K W.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Introduction: Students are the major recipients of psychological guidance and counselling services in a university setting where each student is enable to derive optimal educational benefits so as to actualize his/her potentialities. Students face great challenges and difficulties ranging from individual personal problems, to institutional and general problems when they enter a university for the first time. Purpose of this study was to determine knowledge and attitudes of a selected group of undergraduates towards psychological guidance and counselling. Methodology: This was a descriptive cross sectional study, conducted in first year undergraduates of the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, KDU. A pilot study was carried out with 05 first year undergraduates of the B.Sc. Nursing Programme at University of Sri Jayewardenepura, to test the study instrument. Ethical clearance was obtained from the Ethical Review Committee of the Faculty of Medicine, KDU. Pre tested, self – reported questionnaire focused on attitudes and knowledge on guidance and counselling was administered to 177 fist year undergraduates of FAHS, KDU after obtaining informed consent from the participants. Data analysis was done using SPSS software. Results: The study population included109 (61.6%) females and 68(38.4%) males. High proportion of students (75.7%) reported awareness of guidance and counselling services provided by the university. Students’ knowledge level towards psychological guidance and psychological counselling were at a higher level. Considering attitudes towards guidance and psychological counselling, more than half the population showed negative attitudes towards the three domains of attitudes; that is, psychological openness, indifference to stigma and help seeking behaviour. Conclusion: Majority of undergraduates had a good knowledge on guidance and counselling. However attitudes towards psychological openness, indifference to stigma and help seeking behaviour were negative. It is recommended to conduct workshops or awareness programmes to enhance students’ knowledge and positive attitudes towards guidance and counselling services especially during their orientation period and promote future research to provide effective psychological guidance and counselling services for undegraduates of KDU.

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