Work stress among nurses engaged in palliative care on general wards

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The objective of the present study was to elucidate the work stress among nurses engaged in palliative care on general wards. The relationship between nurses' psychological characteristics and stress was the particular focus of this study in order to clarify the actual stress situation.


Nurses with ≥3 years of experience in palliative care on general wards were surveyed with respect to their personal characteristics, work stress using a scale created by the authors, the Profile of Mood States (POMS) short version, and the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS). Correlations between each derived variable and stress were tested. Variables found to be significant were set as independent variables, and multiple regression analysis was performed with overall stress as the dependent variable.


A total of 402 nurses participated. The questionnaire response rate was 68.2%, with a valid response rate of 59.7%. The analysis involved 240 participants (96.7% female participants; mean age, 36.2 years old). Tension-Anxiety (POMS), Fatigue (POMS), Confusion (POMS), and Emotion-Oriented Coping (CISS) were the significant variables. On multiple regression analysis with these four variables, the coefficient of determination wasR2 = 0.103, and the coefficient of determination adjusted for degrees of freedom wasR2 = 0.087. Fatigue (POMS) (β= 0.179,p< 0.05) and Emotion-Oriented Coping (CISS;β= 0.197,p< 0.05) were found to be significantly related to stress among nurses providing palliative care on general wards.


The stress among nurses engaged in palliative care on general wards can be predicted by the degree of ‘fatigue’ and ‘emotion-oriented coping’. Mechanisms to address these issues are needed. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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