Is stress breaking the back of nurses? A descriptive study


  • Sunpreet Kaur Cheema Student of MAPC, IGNOU, India
  • Dr. Roshan Lal Department of Psychology, Punjab University, Chandigarh, India



Nurses, Stress, Psychosomatic Symptoms, Workload


Healthcare is one of the most stressful sectors in the world. Being the backbone of every hospital no matter how small or big, nurses face various stressful situations on a daily basis. This stress takes toll on their health predisposing them to various problems. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of stress and psychosomatic symptoms among nurses as well as relationship between the two. Self-administered questionnaire was used to collect the background data and standardised scales were used to measure the stress levels (Expanded Nursing Stress Scale) as well as to collect information regarding the prevalence of psychosomatic symptoms (The Somatic Symptom Scale-8). 100 nurses working in emergency and ICU areas of tertiary care hospital were included in the study. The subjects were grouped among three stress levels – mild, moderate and severe according to their score on the ENSS and the psychosomatic symptoms were scored according to the severity with which they bothered the subjects. Maximum subjects reported having severe stress due to high workload. The average level of stress in the assessed population was 1.57 which falls under the category of moderate level of stress. Average population was bothered highly from the somatic symptoms with feeling of low energy, tiredness and back pain. A positive relationship was found between the stress and psychosomatic symptoms. Senior nurses had more stress than their junior counterparts. In general, nurses are moderately stressed. Stress factors are work load, inadequate preparation and conflicts with other healthcare workers including fellow nurses. Incidence of psychosomatic symptoms was found to increase with level of stress.


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How to Cite

Sunpreet Kaur Cheema, & Dr. Roshan Lal. (2022). Is stress breaking the back of nurses? A descriptive study. International Journal of Indian Psychȯlogy, 7(4).