Comparative Studies of Stress and Coping in Nurses in Australia and Singapore

Joanne Lim (2010). Comparative Studies of Stress and Coping in Nurses in Australia and Singapore PhD Thesis, School of Nursing and Midwifery, The University of Queensland.

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Author Joanne Lim
Thesis Title Comparative Studies of Stress and Coping in Nurses in Australia and Singapore
School, Centre or Institute School of Nursing and Midwifery
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010-09
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Total pages 344
Total black and white pages 344
Subjects 11 Medical and Health Sciences
Abstract/Summary Background Stress is a major concern in the nursing profession with work overload, nurse shortages and high turnover rates previously reported as common stressors. Although nursing stress has been researched extensively, a lack of research exists focussing on Australian and Asian nursing populations. In addition, nursing research has often addressed work stressors and neglected the contributions of social and personal stressors in nurses’ daily living. This study seeks to compare daily stress and coping strategies of nurses from Western and Asian backgrounds using Lazarus and Folkman’s transactional model of stress and coping (1984). A cross-cultural comparison of stress experienced by nurses is important because of the implications for a healthy and sustainable international nursing workforce. Aim This research aims to compare the stress and coping strategies of nurses from Queensland and Singapore and explore the cultural context of the experience and management of stress by these nurses. Research Design This study had two phases of data collection. The initial phase employed quantitative measures using the “Hassles and Uplifts Scale” and the “Way of Coping Questionnaire” to explore the cross-cultural differences of nurses’ approach to stress and coping. Questionnaires were posted to a random sample of registered nurses in Queensland and Singapore. Due to constraints of the initial study, the study was realigned and extended to a mixed method approach with the second phase employing qualitative email interviewing to validate the findings related to Singaporean nurses. In addition the cultural bias inherent in survey method was further examined in order to extend the translational outcomes of the project. Results Results from the quantitative analyses found Singaporean nurses experienced a higher frequency of hassles with higher severity compared to Queensland nurses. They were more concerned with work-related hassles whereas Queensland nurses were affected by domestic and personal concerns. In terms of coping strategies, Singaporean nurses employed more emotion-focused coping while Queensland nurses employed more of problem-focused coping. The majority of Queensland nurses used planful problem solving as their main coping strategy; whereas the majority of Singaporean nurses sought social support. The qualitative study validated the Singaporean findings where Singaporean nurses experienced work-related stressors and work/home responsibilities. Three themes were identified as constituting daily hassles; (i) Time pressures, (ii) Nature of nursing work, and (iii) Multiple roles. Uplifts were expressed in relation to the main theme of Feeling good, extending across from nurses’ personal and professional lives. Results on coping also validated the previous quantitative study where Singaporean nurses employed social support as way of coping with stress. Three themes were identified as ways of coping; (i) Taking time out, (ii) Seeking emotional support, and (iii) Belief systems. Conclusion Singaporean nurses experienced more daily stress than Queensland nurses. The composite effects of home and work play a major role in the experience of daily stress and coping in Singaporean nurses. Different values, traditions and ways of life between the two cultural groups influenced individuals’ perception of stress in their life and also the way they handled stress. Strategies used to reduce stress in nurses should consider the inclusion of cultural variations. Cultural differences may also affect participants’ decision to participate and their response styles. Stress may be ameliorated through effective management approaches in the workplace and strong familial support. Nurses and employers are recommended to use uplifts and identify ways of coping that contribute to further developing a healthy workforce and minimise attrition.
Keyword Stress
ways of coping
survey methodology
mixed methodology
Additional Notes landscape: 70-71, 221-228, 319-322, 341-344

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Created: Thu, 23 Dec 2010, 11:00:47 EST by Ms Joanne Lim on behalf of Library - Information Access Service