Author(s): Hillhouse JJ, Adler CM
Abstract Share this page
Abstract A comprehensive and reliable assessment of work stress, burnout, affective, and physical symptomatology was conducted with 260 hospital nurses. As previous attempts to categorize nursing stress and burnout by ward type have yielded inconsistent results, an alternative method for grouping nursing stress effects was sought. Cluster analysis was chosen as it offers a statistically sound means of delineating natural groupings within data. Sets of questionnaires measuring burnout, work stressors, and physical and emotional symptomatology were sent to all staff nurses at a large university hospital. Of 709 nurses employed there, a total of 260 nurses returned completed questionnaire packets. These nurses were separated into two equal groups using random sampling procedures. Cluster analysis of this data revealed groupings which were based on nursing stressors (particularly workload and conflict with physicians), social support, and patient loads. These cluster-analytic findings were replicated on both samples, and validated using data not used in the original cluster analysis. Results suggest that the effects of stress have more to do with the characteristics of the work environment and overall workload than with the degree of specialization on the unit. Results also suggest that intraprofessional conflict (i.e. with other nurses) is less psychologically damaging than is interprofessional conflict (i.e. conflict with physicians). Findings are discussed with respect to the burnout process and possible interventions.
This article was published in Soc Sci Med
and referenced in Journal of Entrepreneurship & Organization Management