Factors associated with stress among mental health nurses in Lusaka and Ndola, Zambia
Mwansa, Chisashi Beatrice
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Stress is a common phenomenon affecting all individuals worldwide. It is part of life because individuals are bound by stressors from the moment they wake up in the morning until they drift into sleep at day’s end. Normally human beings have different ways of dealing with stress, such as problem solving, time management and seeking social support. However when it is not well managed, stress can cause emotional and physical illnesses such as coronary heart disease, cancer, lung problems and diabetes, among others. Mental health nurses seem not to have been spared from stress. Awareness of stressors in mental health nursing may facilitate identification of strategies to improve working conditions for nurses with resulting benefits for the quality of nursing care. The aim of the research was to explore factors that contribute to stress among mental health nurses in Lusaka and Ndola districts. The study employed a cross - sectional study design that sort to establish factors that contributed to stress among mental health nurses. It was conducted at Chainama Hills Hospital, selected health centres in Lusaka, and Ndola Central Hospital Psychiatric unit. Convenience sampling was used to select participants. A total of 96 nurses from the mentioned health facilities were interviewed. Pretested and structured interview schedule was used to collect data. Ethical clearance was obtained from University of Zambia Biomedical Research Ethics Committee (UNZABREC). Consent from participants was obtained before each interview. The data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22. Fisher’s exact test was used to establish the relationship between the dependent and independent variables. The findings revealed that mental health nurses in Lusaka and Ndola are moderately stressed. The findings also reveal that there is no significant relationship between stress and dealing with unpredictable patients among mental health nurses (P=0.113). Similarly there is no significant relationship between stress and shortage of nurses (P=0.613). However there is a significant relationship between stress and Conflict (P=0.002), between stress and lack of social support (P=0.002), and between stress and stigma (P=0.001). Overall mental health nurses in Lusaka and Ndola are moderately stressed and adjustments in organizational management could have a positive effect in sustaining a safe and effective patient care environment.
The University of Zambia