A meta-analytic investigation of occupational stress and related organisational factors: is nursing really a uniquely stressful profession?

Doctorate other than PhD


Elder, Sarah J.. 2004. A meta-analytic investigation of occupational stress and related organisational factors: is nursing really a uniquely stressful profession? Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Psychology. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

A meta-analytic investigation of occupational stress and related organisational factors: is nursing really a uniquely stressful profession?

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
Authors
AuthorElder, Sarah J.
SupervisorFogarty, Gerard
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Psychology
Number of Pages189
Year2004
Abstract

These studies investigated relationships between occupational stressors and strain
through the application of meta-analysis. In Study I, the meta-analytic procedure
specified by Hunter and Schmidt (1990) was applied to 53 studies that utilised 54
independent samples of nurses (N = 14, 524) and presented 143 correlations between
occupational stressors and strain. This study showed that patient care demands,
workload, conflict with co-workers, lack of co-worker and supervisor support, poor
leadership, role uncertainty, lack of role confidence and competence, responsibility,
lack of job control, job complexity, poor physical environment, shift work,
home/work conflict, lack of career prospects, and lack of professional esteem were all
significantly correlated with strain. Some of the strongest effect sizes were found for
workload, home/work conflict, leadership, co-worker conflict. Nursing specialisation
moderated the effect sizes of professional esteem and patient care demands, such that
professional esteem was more strongly related to strain in paediatric nurses than in
other nurses, and the relationship between patient care demands and strain was
stronger in mental health nurses than in general nurses. In Study II, archival data from
various administrations of the Queensland Public Agency Staff Survey (QPASS)
among nurses and public servants employed by the Queensland Government (N =
4,509) was meta-analysed. This study showed that all organisational climate
variables, positive and negative work events measured by the QPASS were
significantly related to individual distress at work. Organisational issues such as staff
relationships, leadership, role clarity, goal congruence, and workplace morale and
workplace distress were amongst those most strongly associated with distress.
Employment status did not moderate any of the relationships, but the relationship
between personality clashes and distress was moderated by occupation, whereby the
effect size was stronger in nurses than in public servants. It was suggested that generic
interventions used to improve organisational climate and decrease stress will also be
of value in the nursing profession. Several avenues for further meta-analytic research
in the organisational health domain were identified.

Keywordsoccupational stress, nursing, meta-analysis
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520104. Industrial and organisational psychology (incl. human factors)
420599. Nursing not elsewhere classified
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