Relationship between sub-health and occupational stress among operating theatre nurses in China: A questionnaire survey

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Background: Studies on sub-health status in general community populations are common, but there is a dearth of research on sub-health of operating theatre nurses in China. This study is to explore the relationship between sub-health and occupational stress among operating theatre nurses. Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire study was conducted in an operating centre in China in December 2007 among 70 operating theatre nurses. Measures: Nurse occupational stressor scale and the diagnostic criterion of sub-health were used. Percentile, t-test and regression were employed for statistical analysis. Results: Nurses reported high stress levels in workload and time pressure subscale, followed by professional and career issues, patient care and interaction, interpersonal relationships and management issues, resource and environmental problems. Fifty subjects (76.9%) suffered from one or more sub-health symptoms. Fatigue was the most common symptom. Occupational stress was positively correlated with age, duration of work in OT, designation, and attending continuing education. Female nurses experienced more stress in workload and time pressure. The occupational stress experienced by sub-health nurses was higher than healthy ones. Conclusion: The operating theatre nurses in our study experienced higher occupational stress and most of them were suffering from sub-health. Occupational stress was related to sub-health status.



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