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Effects of job conditions, occupational stress, and emotional intelligence on chronic fatigue among Chinese nurses: a cross-sectional study

Authors Huang H, Liu L, Yang S, Cui X, Zhang J, Wu H

Received 1 March 2019

Accepted for publication 10 April 2019

Published 13 May 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 351—360

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S207283

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Ms Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Einar Thorsteinsson


Hao Huang,1 Li Liu,1 Shihan Yang,1 Xiaoxing Cui,2 Junfeng Zhang,2,3 Hui Wu1

1Department of Social Medicine, School of Public Health, China Medical University, Shenyang 110122, People’s Republic of China; 2Nicholas School of Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA; 3Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC 27710, USA

Purpose: Nurses are undertaking considerable emotional and physical work, which may lead to unrecoverable fatigue. This study aimed to evaluate the level of chronic fatigue and explore its associated factors among Chinese nurses in the hope of providing scientific evidence for fatigue-reduction strategies.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out in Liaoning Province, China in 2018. The study recruited 700 nurses and collected 566 effective respondents. Chronic fatigue, demographic factors, job conditions, and emotional intelligence were assessed through questionnaires. Chronic fatigue was assessed with the Fatigue Scale 11, occupational stress with the Effort–Reward Imbalance Questionnaire, and emotional intelligence with the Wong and Law Emotional Intelligence Scale. Hierarchical multiple regression was used to explore factors related to chronic fatigue and to test the moderating effect of emotional intelligence on the association between occupational stress and chronic fatigue. Simple slope analysis was conducted to visualize the interaction.
Results: The mean score of chronic fatigue among the Chinese nurses was 17.14±6.16. Being married, having long weekly work time, working night shifts, and discontent with the nurse–patient relationship were positively associated with chronic fatigue. Effort:reward ratio, overcommitment, and emotional intelligence were important factors related to chronic fatigue. Emotional intelligence played a moderating role in the relationship between the effort:reward ratio and chronic fatigue. When emotional intelligence was higher, the effect of the effort:reward ratio on chronic fatigue became weaker.
Conclusion: Most nurses surveyed in China might have relatively high levels of chronic fatigue. Our results highlight the importance of interventions on these factors for the reduction of fatigue among nurses in China. Providing more opportunities and support and developing emotional intelligence are crucial strategies to reduce chronic fatigue among nurses in China.

Keywords: chronic fatigue, occupational stress, emotional intelligence, nurses, moderating effect


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