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Factors and symptoms associated with work stress and health-promoting lifestyles among hospital staff: a pilot study in Taiwan

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      BackgroundHealthcare workers including physicians, nurses, medical technicians and administrative staff experience high levels of occupational stress as a result of heavy workloads, extended working hours and time-related pressure. The aims of this study were to investigate factors associated with work stress among hospital staff members and to evaluate their health-promoting lifestyle behaviors.MethodsWe conducted a cross-sectional study from May 1, 2010 to July 30, 2010 and recruited 775 professional staff from two regional hospitals in Taiwan using purposive sampling. Demographic data and self-reported symptoms related to work-related stress were collected. Each subject completed the Chinese versions of the Job Content Questionnaire (C-JCQ) and The Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile (HPLSP). Linear and binary regression analyses were applied to identify associations between these two measurements and subjects’ characteristics, and associations between the two measurements and stress symptoms.ResultsSelf-reported symptoms of work-related stress included 64.4% of subjects reporting nervousness, 33.7% nightmares, 44.1% irritability, 40.8% headaches, 35.0% insomnia, and 41.4% gastrointestinal upset. C-JCQ scores for psychological demands of the job and discretion to utilize skills had a positive correlation with stress-related symptoms; however, the C-JCQ scores for decision-making authority and social support correlated negatively with stress-related symptoms except for nightmares and irritability. All items on the HPLSP correlated negatively with stress-related symptoms except for irritability, indicating an association between subjects’ symptoms and a poor quality of health-promoting lifestyle behaviors.ConclusionsWe found that high demands, little decision-making authority, and low levels of social support were associated with the development of stress-related symptoms. The results also suggested that better performance on or a higher frequency of health-promoting life-style behaviors might reduce the chances of hospital staff developing stress-related symptoms. Our report may contribute to the development of educational programs designed to encourage members of high stress groups among the hospital staff to increase their health-promoting behaviors.

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      Part I discusses the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ), designed to measure scales assessing psychological demands, decision latitude, social support, physical demands, and job insecurity. Part II describes the reliability of the JCQ scales in a cross-national context using 10,288 men and 6,313 women from 6 studies conducted in 4 countries. Substantial similarity in means, standard deviations, and correlations among the scales, and in correlations between scales and demographic variables, is found for both men and women in all studies. Reliability is good for most scales. Results suggest that psychological job characteristics are more similar across national boundaries than across occupations.
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        To determine the prevalence of depression and burnout among residents in paediatrics and to establish if a relation exists between these disorders and medication errors. Prospective cohort study. Three urban freestanding children's hospitals in the United States. 123 residents in three paediatric residency programmes. Prevalence of depression using the Harvard national depression screening day scale, burnout using the Maslach burnout inventory, and rate of medication errors per resident month. 24 (20%) of the participating residents met the criteria for depression and 92 (74%) met the criteria for burnout. Active surveillance yielded 45 errors made by participants. Depressed residents made 6.2 times as many medication errors per resident month as residents who were not depressed: 1.55 (95% confidence interval 0.57 to 4.22) compared with 0.25 (0.14 to 0.46, P<0.001). Burnt out residents and non-burnt out residents made similar rates of errors per resident month: 0.45 (0.20 to 0.98) compared with 0.53 (0.21 to 1.33, P=0.2). Depression and burnout are major problems among residents in paediatrics. Depressed residents made significantly more medical errors than their non-depressed peers; however, burnout did not seem to correlate with an increased rate of medical errors.
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            Author and article information

            [1 ]Department of Family Medicine, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei City, Taiwan, 10449, Republic of China
            [2 ]Department of Health Promotion and Health Education, National Taiwan Normal University, No. 162, Ho-Ping E. Road, Sec 1, Taipei, Taiwan, 106, Republic of China
            BMC Health Serv Res
            BMC Health Serv Res
            BMC Health Services Research
            BioMed Central
            16 July 2012
            : 12
            : 199
            Copyright ©2012 Tsai and Liu; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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