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Literature review, Perception of stressors, Stress, Stress in the intensive care unit



  1. Abuatiq, Alham MSN, RN, CCNS
  2. Burkard, Joseph DNSc, CRNA
  3. Jo Clark, Mary PhD, RN


The purpose of this article was to provide a historical review and analysis of the research literature focusing on patients', nurses', and health care providers' perceptions of stressors in the critical care setting. A narrative historical literature review method was used. The inclusion criteria include English-language studies of stressors as perceived by patients and health care providers from 1984 to 2011. Several studies investigated perceptions of stressors using the Environmental Stressors Questionnaire and the findings did not show any significant changes of stress perception over time since 1989 until the present. There is a need to further investigate stress perceptions in the health care setting using a mixed qualitative and quantitative approach to provide a more precise description of stressors and stress perceptions in the critical care setting.