VOLUME 39 | ISSUE 1 | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2019

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Perceived stress and coping strategies among ICU nurses in government tertiary hospitals in Saudi Arabia: a cross-sectional study

Homood Alharbi,a Abdualrahman Alshehryb

From the aNursing College, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; bDepartment of Medical Surgical Nursing, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 

How to cite this article:

Alharbi H, Alshehry A. Perceived stress and coping strategies among ICU nurses in government tertiary hospitals in Saudi Arabia: a cross-sectional study. Ann Saudi Med 2019; 39 (1): 48-55.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: No study has examined the stress level and coping strategies among critical care nurses in Saudi Arabia.

 

OBJECTIVES: Examine perceived stress and coping behaviors among nurses in intensive care units in Saudi Arabia, and the influence of cop.ing mechanisms on stress.

 

DESIGN: Descriptive cross-sectional.

 

SETTING: Two tertiary training hospitals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

 

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Nurses from cardiac, surgery and pediatric intensive care units responded to an online survey. Perceived Stress Scale-10 (PSS-10) and the Brief COPE Inventory were used as primary research tools. Multivariate methods were used to analyze the data.

 

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Stress levels, coping strategies, and associated factors.

 

SAMPLE SIZE: 154 nurses.

 

RESULTS: The majority of the respondents reported a moderate level of stress in the past month (87.0%). Mean (SD) scores for nurses working in the cardiac ICU indicated significantly higher levels of stress compared to surgical ICU (18.18 [3.88] vs 6.17 [3.21], P=.025). Belief in religion was the most common coping behavior while the use of substances was the lowest (mean scores [SD] 6.70 [ 1.72] vs 2.22 [0.81]). In the multivariate analysis, behavioral disengagement (P=.016) and self-blame (P<.001) intensified the PSS-10 score, whereas acceptance (P=.048) reduced the PSS-10 score.

 

CONCLUSION: The additional knowledge that behavioral disengagement and blaming aggravate stress can serve as the basis in formulating work-related stress reduction strategies among nurses caring for critical patients.

 

LIMITATIONS: The use of self-reports, convenience sampling, and selected demographic factors may have limited the scope and generalizability of the findings and induced social desirability bias.

 

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: None. 

 

 

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