The impact of healthcare workers job environment on their mental-emotional health. Coping strategies: the case of a local general hospital

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Aristotelis Koinis *
Vasiliki Giannou
Vasiliki Drantaki
Sophia Angelaina
Elpida Stratou
Maria Saridi
(*) Corresponding Author:
Aristotelis Koinis | telis_psyc@hotmail.com

Abstract

Workplace stress can influence healthcare professionals’ physical and emotional well-being by curbing their efficiency and having a negative impact on their overall quality of life. The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact that work environment in a local public general hospital can have on the health workers’ mental-emotional health and find strategies in order to cope with negative consequences. The study took place from July 2010 to October 2010. Our sample consisted of 200 healthcare professionals aged 21-58 years working in a 240-bed general hospital and the response rate was 91.36%). Our research protocol was first approved by the hospital’s review board. A standardized questionnaire that investigates strategies for coping with stressful conditions was used. A standardized questionnaire was used in the present study Coping Strategies for Stressful Events, evaluating the strategies that persons employ in order to overcome a stressful situation or event. The questionnaire was first tested for validity and reliability which were found satisfactory (Cronbach’s α=0.862). Strict anonymity of the participants was guaranteed. The SPSS 16.0 software was used for the statistical analysis. Regression analysis showed that health professionals’ emotional health can be influenced by strategies for dealing with stressful events, since positive re-assessment, quitting and seeking social support are predisposing factors regarding the three first quality of life factors of the World Health Organization Quality of Life -BREF. More specifically, for the physical health factor, positive re-assessment (t=3.370, P=0.001) and quitting (t=−2.564, P=0.011) are predisposing factors. For the ‘mental health and spirituality’ regression model, positive re-assessment (t=5.528, P=0.000) and seeking social support (t=−1.991, P=0.048) are also predisposing factors, while regarding social relationships positive re-assessment (t=4.289, P=0.000) is a predisposing factor. According to our findings, there was a notable lack of workplace stress management strategies, which the participants usually perceive as a lack of interest on behalf of the management regarding their emotional state. Some significant factors for lowering workplace stress were found to be the need to encourage and morally reward the staff and also to provide them with opportunities for further or continuous education.

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