Tel Aviv University, Israel
Title: Promoting health and quality of life of healthcare workers in nursing
Shulamith Kreitler is a Professor of Psychology at Tel Aviv University and Head of the Psychooncology Research Center at the Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, in Israel. She is a certified Clinical Psychologist and Health Psychologist. Her major research is focused on psychological risk factors of different physical and mental disorder, quality of life and coping. She has taught at the Nursing Department at the University of Haifa. She has published about 200 research papers and 10 books.
In recent years, there has been increasing evidence that stress and burnout in nurses affects their health and quality of life. The objective is to present three studies with applications for moderating the detrimental effects of stress and promoting health in nurses. Study 1 examined the role of stress- generating factors and relief factors on experienced stress in nurses in a pediatric oncology institute. The subjects responded to questionnaires assessing sources of stress, sources of relief, perceived stress, quality of life, burnout and compassion fatigue. The results showed that stress and relief were independent factors affecting burnout, and that relief had a greater impact. The major sources of stress were family and daily issues, and of relief - people and bodily activities. Study 2 examined the impact of stress vulnerability on quality of life. 100 nurses responded to questionnaires assessing stress vulnerability, perceived stress, and quality of life. The results showed that stress vulnerability correlated significantly with perceived stress and quality of life. Study 3 examined the impact of attitudes relevant for physical health. The responses to the questionnaire of the cognitive orientation of physical health by 52 nurses showed that attitudes on themes such as sharing experiences, expressing emotions, controlling perfectionism and cooperating with others contribute to mental and physical well-being. The major conclusions are that the mental and physical quality of life of nurses could be improved by promoting relief-generating activities, moderating stress vulnerability and enhancing specific attitudes that contribute positively to one’s well-being.