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It is very important to provide good quality and equal care to obese individuals without judging, stigmatisation and discrimination. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of nursing students’ beliefs towards obese individuals on their stigmatisation tendencies. This descriptive and correlational study was conducted between 05.06.2021 and 20.06.2021 with the participation of 232 students who were studying at Ondokuz Mayis University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing and who were willing to participate in the study. The data in the study were collected by using a survey form consisting of 25 questions to find out about the sociodemographic characteristics of the students and their attitudes towards obese individuals and Beliefs about Obese Persons Scale (BAOP) and Stigma Scale. Normality distribution of the data was examined with Kolmogorov–Smirnov test. Kruskal–Wallis and Mann–Whitney U test were used in the comparison of data which were not normally distributed. The correlation between the scales and sub-dimensions was examined with Spearman’s correlation analysis. It was found that 75.4% of the students in the study were female and 24.6% were male, 82.8% had grown up in a nuclear family, 36.6% had a democratic family structure, 60.8% chose the profession of nursing willingly, 79.7% had a body mass index within the normal range, 69.4% did not have a history of obesity in family members, 67.7% had overweight individuals in their immediate circle, 74.6% were not exposed to stigmatisation and discriminative attitudes due to their body weight; 97.8% were not biased against obese individuals, 78.9% stated that they wanted to provide care to obese individuals and mean age was found as 20.72 ± 1.68. The mean BAOP score was found as 23.4 ± 1.02, while the mean Stigma Scale score was found as 44.8 ± 11.7. The BAOP Scale scores and mean Stigma Scale scores were found to differ in terms of some sociodemographic characteristics of students (p < 0.05). In line with the data obtained from the scale, it was found that students’ beliefs about obese individuals were not negative and they had low level of stigmatisation tendency. It is recommended to increase social awareness about the increase in obesity prevalence, which has become a global problem, and to prevent the tendency for stigmatisation and discrimination.
Keywords: Nursing, nursing student, obesity, belief, stigmatisation.
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