Barriers and facilitators to healthy eating for nurses in the workplace: an integrative review

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2017, 73 (5), pp. 1051 - 1065
Issue Date:
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© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Aim: The aim was to conduct an integrative systematic review to identify barriers and facilitators to healthy eating for working nurses. Background: There is growing recognition of the influence of the workplace environment on the eating habits of the workforce, which in turn may contribute to increased overweight and obesity. Overweight and obesity exact enormous costs in terms of reduced well-being, worker productivity and increased risk of non-communicable diseases. The workplace is an ideal place to intervene and support healthy behaviours. This review aimed to identify barriers and facilitators to nurses’ healthy eating in the workplace. Design: Integrative mixed method review. Data sources: Five electronic databases were searched: CINAHL, MEDLINE, PROQUEST Health and Medicine, ScienceDirect and PsycINFO. Reference lists were searched. Included papers were published in English between 2000–2016. Of 26 included papers, 21 were qualitative and five quantitative. Review methods: An integrative literature review was undertaken. Quality appraisal of included studies used standardized checklists. A social-ecological framework was used to examine workplace facilitators and constraints to healthy eating, derived from the literature. Emergent themes were identified by thematic analysis. Results: Review participants were Registered, Enrolled and/or Nurse Assistants primarily working in hospitals in middle or high income countries. The majority of studies reported barriers to healthy eating related to adverse work schedules, individual barriers, aspects of the physical workplace environment and social eating practices at work. Few facilitators were reported. Overall, studies found the workplace exerts a considerable negative influence on nurses’ dietary intake. Conclusion: Reorientation of the workplace to promote healthy eating among nurses is required.
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