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Research Article Open Access
Providing care to hospitalized patients may be associated with stress, reduced quality of life, and even psychiatric disorders. This case-control study aimed to compare the level of stress (using the 14-question perceived stress scale (PSS-14), potential risk factors, and stress-coping strategies (using the 28-item brief coping scale (BCS-28) between two convenient samples of patients’ companions (56) and administrative employees (98) working in a tertiary care hospital in Saudi Arabia. The average PSS-14 was slightly higher in companions than administrative employees (27.4 ± 9.9 vs. 25.1 ± 10.1, p=0.179). After stratifying by gender, the difference in males (but not females) was marginally significant in the unadjusted comparison and significant in the adjusted comparison. Companions had similar scores of adaptive stress-coping strategies but higher scores of maladaptive stress-coping strategies compared with administrative employees. This was especially apparent in the denial and self-distraction strategies. PSS-14 in all participants had a moderate significant positive correlation with maladaptive stress-coping strategies. Companions exhibited a gender-specific slight increase in the level of stress and adopted more maladaptive stresscoping strategies compared with administrative employees. There were no group differences in blood lipids, serum glucose, or cortisol levels.