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Nurs Health Sci. 2010 Jun;12(2):251-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-2018.2010.00514.x.

Stress and coping in Singaporean nurses: a literature review.

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The University of Queensland, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital, Herston, Australia.


Stress is ubiquitous in the nursing profession and is also prevalent in Asian countries, particularly the "four tigers of Asia": Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea. Based on the theoretical framework of Lazarus and Folkman (1984), the present review of the nursing literature aims to identify sources and effects of stress in Singaporean nurses and the coping strategies they use. Nurses reported major stressors including shortage of staff, high work demands and conflict at work. Common coping strategies included problem orientation, social support and relaxation techniques. Several studies reported nurses' intent to leave the profession. Recommendations to minimize the impact of stress include in-service programs to facilitate a problem-solving approach to resolving work-related issues such as conflict. Relaxation therapy and debriefing sessions may also help in reducing negative effects of work stressors. Finally, nurses' emotional coping can be enhanced by strengthening sources of social support, particularly from family.

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