Stress in nurses: stress-related affect and its determinants examined over the nursing day

Derek W Johnston, Martyn C Jones, Kathryn Charles, Sharon K McCann, Lorna McKee

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24 Citations (Scopus)
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BACKGROUND: Nurses are a stressed group and this may affect their health and work performance. The determinants of occupational stress in nurses and other occupational groups have almost invariably been examined in between subject studies. PURPOSE: This study aimed to determine if the main determinants of occupation stress, i.e. demand, control, effort and reward, operate within nurses. METHODS: A real time study using personal digital-assistant-based ecological momentary assessment to measure affect and its hypothesised determinants every 90 min in 254 nurses over three nursing shifts. The measures were negative affect, positive affect, demand/effort, control and reward. RESULTS: While the effects varied in magnitude between people, in general increased negative affect was predicted by high demand/effort, low control and low reward. Control and reward moderated the effects of demand/effort. High positive affect was predicted by high demand/effort, control and reward. CONCLUSIONS: The same factors are associated with variations in stress-related affect within nurses as between.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-356
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number3
Early online date26 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • occupational stress
  • nursing
  • demand
  • control
  • reward
  • ecological momentary assessment


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