The Effects of the Relaxation Response on Nurses’ Level of Anxiety, Depression, Well-Being, Work-Related Stress, and Confidence to Teach Patients

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study was threefold: to teach nurses the Relaxation Response (RR), a relaxation technique created by Benson; to measure the effects of the RR on nurses’ levels of anxiety, depression, well-being, and work-related stress; and to explore nurses’ confidence in teaching their patients the RR.Design: A wait-list, randomized-control quantitative study design was used. Method: Nurses in the intervention group were trained on the benefits and the technique of the RR and were then asked to practice the RR over an 8-week period. Findings: No statistical significance was found in nurses’ reported level of anxiety, depression, well-being, and work-related stress. However, the nurses reported greater confidence in teaching this technique to patients (p < .001). Conclusion: As a strategy for self-care in the workplace, nurses were receptive to learning the RR and reported confidence in using this strategy for their patients. Larger studies may reveal more significant reductions in workplace stress and anxiety for nurses.

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