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28th International Conference on Psychiatry & Mental Health

Melbourne, Australia

Jeewaranga Gunasekera

Jeewaranga Gunasekera

MSc Registrar in Community Medicine, Health Education Bureau, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka

Title: Prevalence and correlates of work stress among nurses working in psychiatric inward facilities, in Colombo District, Sri Lanka


Biography: Jeewaranga Gunasekera


Statement of the Problem: Work stress among nurses in psychiatric care is considered an important occupational health problem due to the nature of the services provided.  However, studies on work stress in this study group is scarce in Sri Lanka. An understanding of such factors could greatly help in designing policies related to mental health and occupational health. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among nurses working in the three in-ward psychiatric facilities in capital Colombo District namely, National Institute of Mental Health, National Hospital of Sri Lanka and Colombo South Teaching Hospital. The entire population (N=345) was given a pre-tested self-administered questionnaire composed of two parts; validated Job Content Questionnaire and questionnaire on correlates. Prevalence of Work Stress was measured using two indices as described by Karasek in the dynamic job strain model, namely; ‘High Job Strain’(HJS) and ‘Iso-strain’(IS). Findings: The response rate was 89.5%(N=309). Prevalence of HJS and IS was 37.2% and 21.4% respectively. Factors significantly associated with HJS were; being single (OR=1.84, 95%CI=1.15-2.95), working more than 48 hours weekly (OR=1.71,95%CI=1.05-2.78), violence by patients (OR=3.45,95%CI=1.81-6.57), verbal abuse by patients (OR=3.11, 95%CI=1.80-5.39), mental health concerns (OR=2.68,95%CI=1.595-4.40), stigma (OR=2.21,95%CI=1.24-3.94), lack of assistance at work (OR=4.56,95%CI=1.68-12.27), difficulty in obtaining leave (OR=2.98, 95%CI=1.48-6.00), inadequate welfare facilities (OR=1.62,95%CI=1.01-2.59) and poor work recognition (OR=2.89,95%CI=1.68-4.96). Conclusion & Significance: The prevalence of HJS was significant among nurses. It was comparatively higher than the prevalence values obtained among other occupations. More than ten factors  were identified as increasing the risk of High Job Strain where Iso-strain was associated with five factors. Some factors that are associated with HJS were not associated with IS indicating that positive social support could counter the negative impacts of work stress. Administrative programmes to prevent and reduce work stress among nurses are to be studied in detail.