Aim and objectives. To investigate the effectiveness of assertiveness training programmes on psychiatric patients' assertiveness, self-esteem and social anxiety. Background. Assertiveness training programmes are designed to improve an individual's assertive beliefs and behaviours, which can help the individual change how they view themselves and establish self-confidence and social anxiety. It is useful for patients with depression, depressive phase of bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder or adjustment disorder. Design. Experimental. Method. There were 68 subjects (28, experimental group; 40, diagnosis-matched comparison group). Subjects in experimental groups participated in experimenter-designed assertiveness training twice a week (two hours each) for four weeks. The comparison groups participated the usual activities. Data were collected in the two groups at the same time: before, after and one month after training programme. Efficacy was measured by assertiveness, self-esteem and social anxiety inventories. A generalised estimating equation was used for analysis. Results. After training, subjects had a significant increase in assertiveness immediately after the assertiveness training programme and one-month follow-up. There was a significant decrease in social anxiety after training, but the improvement was not significant after one month. Self-esteem did not increase significantly after training. Conclusion. With our sample of patients with mixed diagnoses, assertiveness seemed to be improved after assertiveness training. Relevance to clinical practice. Patients would benefit more from the assertiveness training programme for the change in how they view themselves, improve their assertiveness, properly express their individual moods and thoughts and further establish self-confidence. The assertiveness training protocol could be provided as a reference guide to clinical nurses.
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