An exploratory study of the impact of stress on quality of life among front-line nursing staff working in respiratory fever admission wards (RFAWs) and general medical wards (GMWs)

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An exploratory study of the impact of stress on quality of life among front-line nursing staff working in respiratory fever admission wards (RFAWs) and general medical wards (GMWs)

 

Author: Tsang, Chung-shun Desmond
Title: An exploratory study of the impact of stress on quality of life among front-line nursing staff working in respiratory fever admission wards (RFAWs) and general medical wards (GMWs)
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2012
Subject: Nurses -- Job stress -- China -- Hong Kong.
Nurse and patient.
Quality of life.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
Pages: iv, 52 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2474795
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/6431
Abstract: BACKGROUND: During the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic, fever patients with respiratory symptoms were admitted to respiratory fever admission wards (RFAWs), but the admission criteria for RFAWs have changed. Febrile patients with other physical complaints are now admitted to RFAWs. As a result of 17 years' experience as a fever ward nurse, I know that caring for comorbid febrile patients can be stressful. GMW nursing staffs also experience stress, usually as a result of their working environment. Although they rarely are required to deal with febrile patients, the patient-nurse ratio is much higher in GMWs (one nurse for twelve patients). Thus, nurses working in GMWs may experience stress originated from their heavy workload. Little is known about the stress levels of nurses working in various hospital wards in Hong Kong. This exploratory study attempts to address that gap. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the impact of stress on quality of life among front-line nursing staff working in respiratory fever admission ward (RFAWs) and general medical wards (GMWs). DESIGN: The study design combined qualitative and quantitative approaches. Two data collection strategies were employed: a self-administered questionnaire covering demographical information, sources of stress, quality of life and stress levels, and a focus group discussion among staff from both types of ward. SUBJECTS: A total of 178 questionnaires were distributed and 148 were returned. Eight nurses were participated in the focus group discussion. MEASURES: The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-14) was adopted to document the subjective stress level of participants, while the Chinese (HK) version of SF-36 was administered to measure health-related quality of life (QOL). RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences in stress levels between the two wards, and the stressors had no significant impact on the psychosocial well-being of the staff of both wards. In the focus group discussion, eight stressors were identified: busyness at work (BW), staff relationships (SR), staff conflict (SC), handling complaints (HC), working environment (WE), noise (N), handling critically ill patients (HCIP) and handling febrile patients (HFP). CONCLUSIONS: The study did not provide any evidence that the ward in which the nurses worked affected their level of stress. It also did not show that stress had a negative impact on the nurses' quality of life. However, the nurses from the two wards identified different job-related stressors. For the GMW staff, the main causes of stress were associated with their working environment: handling patients' complaints and staff conflict. For RFAW staff, the main causes of stress were associated with their patients' general condition and comorbidity.

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