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Coping with interpersonal stress and psychological distress at work: comparison of hospital nursing staff and salespeople

Authors Kato T

Received 4 November 2013

Accepted for publication 6 December 2013

Published 15 January 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 31—36


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

Tsukasa Kato

Department of Social Psychology, Toyo University, Tokyo, Japan

Abstract: Hospital nurses frequently experience relationships with patients as stressors in the workplace. Nurses’ coping behavior is one potential buffering factor that can reduce the effects of job stress on their psychological functioning and well-being. In this study, the association between nurses' strategies for coping with interpersonal stress from patients and their psychological distress was examined. Participants included 204 hospital nurses and 142 salespeople, who were used as a comparison group. Participants completed measures of coping with interpersonal stress and psychological distress. Hospital nurses reported more psychological distress than did salespeople. Moreover, distancing coping was correlated with high psychological distress in both nurses and salespeople, and reassessing coping was correlated with low psychological distress in nurses. For nurses only, constructive coping appeared to be an effective strategy for reducing psychological distress. It is important for nurses to understand the role of constructive coping in nurse–patient communication and interaction.

Keywords: nurse, relationships with patients, interpersonal stress, coping behavior, job stress

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