Nurses' lifestyle behaviours, health priorities and barriers to living a healthy lifestyle: a qualitative descriptive study

Phiri, Lindokuhle P., Draper, Catherine E., Lambert, Estelle V. and Kolbe-Alexander, Tracy L. (2014) Nurses' lifestyle behaviours, health priorities and barriers to living a healthy lifestyle: a qualitative descriptive study. BMC Nursing, 13 38: . doi:10.1186/s12912-014-0038-6


Author Phiri, Lindokuhle P.
Draper, Catherine E.
Lambert, Estelle V.
Kolbe-Alexander, Tracy L.
Title Nurses' lifestyle behaviours, health priorities and barriers to living a healthy lifestyle: a qualitative descriptive study
Journal name BMC Nursing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1472-6955
Publication date 2014
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/s12912-014-0038-6
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 13
Issue 38
Total pages 11
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background
Nurses have an increased risk for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), along with a high prevalence of obesity, poor eating habits and insufficient physical activity. The aim of this study was to determine the health concerns, health priorities and barriers to living a healthy lifestyle among nurses and hospital management staff from public hospitals in the Western Cape Metropole, South Africa.

Methods
Participants were purposively sampled (n = 103), and included management personnel (n = 9), night shift (n = 57) and day-shift nurses (n = 36). Twelve focus groups (FGDs) were conducted with nursing staff to obtain insight into nurses’ health concerns, lifestyle behaviours and worksite health promotion programmes (WHPPs). Seven key informant interviews (KII) were conducted with management personnel, to gain their perspective on health promotion in the worksite. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data with the assistance of Atlas.ti Qualitative Data Analysis Software.

Results
Night shift nurses frequently identified weight gain and living with NCDs such as hypertension as their main health concerns. Being overweight was perceived to have a negative impact on work performance. All nurses identified backache and exposure to tuberculosis (TB) as occupation-related health concerns, and both management and nurses frequently reported a stressful working environment. Nurses frequently mentioned lack of time to prepare healthy meals due to long working hours and being overtired from work. The hospital environment was perceived to have a negative influence on the nurses’ lifestyle behaviours, including food service that offered predominantly unhealthy foods. The most commonly delivered WHPPs included independent counselling services, an online employee wellness programme offered by the Department of Health and wellness days in which clinical measures, such as blood glucose were measured. Nurses identified a preference for WHPPs that provided access to fitness facilities or support groups.

Conclusions
Public hospitals are a stressful work environment and shift work places an additional strain on nurses. The risk of NCDs and exposure to infectious disease remains a concern in this working population. Our findings highlight the need for WHPPs that support nurses in managing stress and transforming the work environment to facilitate healthy lifestyles.
Keyword Nurses health
Lifestyle behaviours
Perceptions
Shift workers
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Open access paper

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 30 Jan 2015, 16:24:05 EST by Sandrine Ducrot on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences