Volume 51, Issue 5 p. 580-589
Health Policy and Systems

Effects of Work-Related Stressors and Mindfulness on Mental and Physical Health Among Australian Nurses and Healthcare Workers

Helen De Cieri PhD, MA

Helen De Cieri PhD, MA

Professor, Monash Business School, Monash University, Caulfield East, VIC, 3145 Australia

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Tracey Shea PhD, M App Sci

Corresponding Author

Tracey Shea PhD, M App Sci

Senior Research Fellow, Monash Business School, Monash University, Caulfield East, VIC, 3145 Australia

Correspondence

Dr. Tracey Shea, Monash Business School, Monash University, 900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield East, VIC 3145, Australia.

E-mail: [email protected]

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Brian Cooper PhD, MA

Brian Cooper PhD, MA

Associate Professor, Monash Business School, Monash University, Caulfield East, VIC, 3145 Australia

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Brian Oldenburg PhD, MPsychol

Brian Oldenburg PhD, MPsychol

Professor, School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, 3052 Australia

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First published: 21 July 2019
Citations: 34

Abstract

Purpose

To examine the relative impact of work-related stressors and the personal resource of mindfulness on employees’ mental and physical health.

Design

A cross-sectional survey design with nursing and healthcare workers in Victoria, Australia.

Methods

Data were collected from 702 respondents. Mean scores for work-related stressors and employee mental and physical health were compared with population norms. We used hierarchical linear regressions to examine the relative impact of demographics, work-related stressors, and mindfulness on employee mental and physical health.

Findings

Employees in this sample reported higher levels of work-related stress and poorer mental health compared to available norms, while their levels of physical health were within the normal range. Regression analyses showed that work-related stressors were important predictors of employee mental health, but mindfulness was the stronger predictor. There was a slightly stronger relationship between employee physical health and work-related stress compared to mindfulness. Furthermore, being younger and employed in a non-nursing role were associated with better physical health.

Clinical Relevance

Encouraging mindfulness as a health behavior practice among nurses and other healthcare workers could improve employee well-being and potentially enable them to more effectively fulfill the requirements of their demanding roles.