IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 195: Stress and Coping Strategies of Nurses Working with Patients Infected with and Not Infected with SARS-CoV-2 Virus
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph19010195
Introduction: Working during the COVID-19 pandemic is a particular challenge for nurses because, while performing their daily routines, they are exposed to physical and social consequences of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is accompanied by intensified stress. The aim of this study was to assess the intensity of stress and coping strategies applied by nurses working with both infected and non-infected patients with SARS-CoV-2 virus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted between January and March 2021. Due to the epidemiological situation, the questionnaire was posted on Facebook in nurses&rsquo; groups and sent out via the &ldquo;Messenger&rdquo; and &ldquo;WhatsApp&rdquo; applications. Stress intensity was assessed by means of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10), whereas coping strategies were assessed using the Mini-COPE stress coping inventory. Results: Among 151 surveyed nurses, more than half (52.3%) worked with infected patients and the remaining ones (47.7%) worked with non-infected patients. The level of stress perceived by nurses working with infected patients was higher than among nurses working with patients without SARS-CoV-2 infection (22.22 &plusmn; 5.94 vs. 20.21 &plusmn; 5.68, p = 0.03). The nurses working with infected patients were most likely to choose coping strategies focused on the problem (2.00 &plusmn; 0.62) and emotions (2.01 &plusmn; 0.69), whereas those working with non-infected patients usually chose strategies focused only on the problem (2.11 &plusmn; 0.58). Conclusions: During the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses working with SARS-CoV-2 patients experienced more intense stress than those working with non-infected patients. Nurses working with SARS-CoV-2 patients tended to cope with stress using strategies focused on the problem and on emotions, while those working with non-infected patients were more likely to choose strategies focused only on the problem.
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