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J Nurs Manag. 1998 Mar;6(2):97-104.

Occupational stress and job satisfaction: a comparative study of health visitors, district nurses and community psychiatric nurses.

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Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Care, Moriston Hospital, Swansea, UK.



This study examines self-reported stress and job satisfaction of health visitors (n = 68), district nurses (n = 56) and community psychiatric nurses (n = 19) in one health authority in the UK. The levels and sources of stress and satisfaction were examined in relation to speciality.


Stress levels were assessed using The General Health Questionnaire-12. Sources of stress and satisfaction were measured by a 47 item questionnaire compiled by the author. The analysis of data included analysis of variance, Pearson product moment correlation, factor analysis.


The results showed that levels of stress were a function of occupation with significant variation between groups. Health visitors yielded the highest stress scores and lowest job satisfaction scores. Sources of stress correlated significantly and positively with GHQ scores. Factor analysis identified four main factors concerned with sources of stress: emotional involvement, unpredictable events at work, change and instability at work, work content. Job satisfaction scores correlated significantly and negatively with GHQ scores; indications were that all three groups were dissatisfied with supervisory relationships.


Recommendations include more creative and supportive supervisory relationships, such as clinical supervision.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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