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Reducing occupational stress among registered nurses in very remote Australia: a participatory action research approach


Lenthall, S and Wakerman, J and Dollard, MF and Dunn, S and Knight, S and Opie, T and Rickard, G and MacLeod, M, Reducing occupational stress among registered nurses in very remote Australia: a participatory action research approach, Collegian, 25, (2) pp. 181-191. ISSN 1322-7696 (2018) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Australian College of Nursing Ltd. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.colegn.2017.04.007


Background: Nurses in very remote areas of Australia (RANs), work in complex and isolated settings for which they are often inadequately prepared, and stress levels are high. This paper, based on the ‘Back from the edge’ project, evaluates the development and implementation of an intervention to reduce and prevent the impact of occupational stress in the RAN workforce in the Northern territory.

Methods: The methods involved a combined participatory action research/organisational development model, involving seven steps, to develop and implement system changes within the (then) Northern Territory Department of Health and Families (NTDH&F). The development, implementation and evaluation was informed via information from participants collected during workshops and interviews. Pre and post surveys were undertaken to evaluate the study.

Results: Occupational stress interventions developed by the workgroups were categorised into four main groups: (1) remote context, (2) workload and scope of practice, (3) poor management, and (4) violence and safety concerns. The main interventions centred on promoting a well educated, stable workforce. There were very few measurable changes as a result of the interventions as many were not able to be implemented in the time period of the study, but implementation is continuing.

Conclusion: While the outcome evaluations showed few effects,the study through consensus approaches, provides a blueprint for reducing stress among remote area nurses and evidence which should inform policy and practice with respect to service delivery in remote areas.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:remote area nurses, occupational health, stress, job demand/resources
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health care administration
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health policy evaluation
UTAS Author:Rickard, G (Professor Greg Rickard)
ID Code:125262
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:23
Deposited By:Paramedicine
Deposited On:2018-04-10
Last Modified:2019-03-25
Downloads:94 View Download Statistics

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