Occupational Stress in Military Health Settings: A Questionnaire-based Survey

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 School of Rehabilitations, Tehran University Medical Science, Tehran, Iran

2 School of Health, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran

3 School of Nursing, Mashhad University of Medical Science, Iran

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Military hospitals play a crucial role in delivery of healthcare services to patients during emergencies. Despite that, limited studies have attempted to characterize factors affecting quality of work life in employees of military health settings. To contribute in filling this gap, this study explored employee occupational stress in a military hospital, situated in the western region of Iran.
 
Methods: A descriptive-analytical study of cross-sectional design was conducted in 2011. All employees working in the 597 Army Hospital (n = 76) were surveyed. Data was collected using questionnaire. Reliability of the scale was ensured by Cronbach’s alpha of 0.94. Descriptive statistics was employed for data summarization. T test and ANOVA were used to compare mean scores of occupational stress between demographic and professional groups.
 
Findings: Occupational stress among employees averaged 46% ranging from 26% to 91%. While 25% of subjects reported low occupational stress, 58% showed moderate stress levels, and 17% expressed high stress levels. Clinicians showed significantly higher occupational stress as compared with administrative staff (P = 0.029). No significant effect was identified for other demographic and professional characteristics including age, sex, marital status, educational level, and work experience either between entire employees, or between clinicians.
 
Conclusions: By finding considerable or high stress among three forth of the employees, our study support the notion that employees of military hospitals are more prone to occupational stress as compared with the personnel of civilian health settings. In addition, expression of higher stress levels by healthcare employees compared to their administrative counterparts shows that working conditions in military health settings are even more stressful for clinical staff. These findings add weight to the urgency of devising coping strategies to alleviate occupational stress in clinicians of military hospitals.

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