Self-Care Program May Help Nurses Manage Stress

Psycho-educational program appears to positively impact emotional exhaustion levels
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- A psycho-educational self-care program that helps nurses develop stress management plans may be useful in improving emotional exhaustion levels, according to a study in the August issue of Applied Nursing Research.

Kate Kravits, R.N., of the City of Hope in Duarte, Calif., and colleagues evaluated a psycho-educational program for nurses that included discussion of nursing-specific risk factors, practice with relaxation techniques, and exploration through art. The researchers used the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Draw-a-Person-in-the-Rain Art Assessment, and wellness plans to examine quantitative and qualitative measures of stress and burnout before and after the program.

The investigators found that emotional exhaustion subscale scores on the MBI were high for 38 percent of the participants prior to the program, decreasing to 26 percent of the participants after the program. In addition, depersonalization scores were high for 13 percent of the respondents prior to the program, decreasing to 9 percent after the program. Pre-program perceptions of personal accomplishment scores were low for 45 percent of the participants, increasing to 52 percent of the participants after the program.

"Psycho-educational interventions, including discussion of nursing-specific risk factors, practice with relaxation techniques, and exploration of coping patterns via art, show promise as methods to promote positive self-care strategies," the authors write. "Further research is needed particularly in the area of promoting enduring change in self-care behaviors."

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Categories: Nursing Psychiatry

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