A study of occupational stress and smoking among hospital nurses
Three-hundred and thirty-three surveys were distributed to male and female nurses employed at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Salem, Virginia. The survey was designed to determine if nurses who smoke perceive more stress from their jobs. Of the 124 nurses who responded to the survey, there were no significant differences in ratings of perceived stress between nurses who reported that they were current smokers and those who reported that they were non-smokers. Overall, the mean rating of perceived stress for both smokers and non-smokers were rated low to average on a six-point Likert-type Scale.
Although the relationship between the smoking and perceived stress items on the survey did not reach statistical significance, over fifty percent of the respondents reported that they would be interested in participating in a stress management program; and a higher percentage of smokers reported an interest in stress management than non-smokers. No significant differences were found in the coping methods between smokers and non-smokers in reporting how they would cope with two specific stressful work situations. The results of this study indicate that, for this particular population, those who smoke do not perceive significantly higher levels of stress from their jobs than non-smokers.