The relationships among workplace stressors, coping methods, demographic characteristics and health in Australian nurses

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Journal Article
Journal of Professional Nursing, 2006, 22 (1), pp. 30 - 38
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Nursing is known to be stressful. Stress detrimentally can influence job satisfaction, psychological well-being, and physical health. There is a need for increased understanding of the stress that nurses experience and how best to manage it. Three hundred twenty Australian acute care public hospital nurses participated in a study by completing four questionnaires that examined (a) how various workplace stressors relate to ways of coping, demographic characteristics, and physical and mental health and (b) which workplace stressors, coping mechanisms, and demographic characteristics were the best predictors of physical and mental health. Significant correlations were found between stressors and physical and mental health. Multiple regression showed age to be the only significant predictor of physical health. The best coping predictors of mental health were escapeavoidance, distancing, and self-control. Other significant predictors of mental health were support in the workplace, the number of years worked in the unit, and workload. Mental health scores were higher for nurses working more years in the unit and for those who used distancing as a way of coping. Mental health scores were lower for nurses who used escapeavoidance, lacked workplace support, had high workload, and used self-control coping. The findings have implications for organizational management, particularly in terms of recommendations for stress management, social support, and workload reduction.
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