Stress and the intensive care patient: perceptions of patients and nurses

Authors


Marc A. Cornock Ground Floor Flat, Elmhurst, Church Road, Ridgeway, Bristol BS12 2SQ

Abstract

This study was a replication of an earlier Cochran& Ganong study that investigated the perception of nurses and patients regarding the stressors faced by patients in the intensive care unit environment. As the original study was American in origin, one of the aims of the present study was to discover if the results would be replicated in a United Kingdom (UK) intensive care unit. Data collection was by the use of an environmental stress questionnaire that was an adaptation of the original data collection tool modified for use in a UK intensive care unit. The study was undertaken in two intensive care units producing a sample size of 71 patients and 71 nurses. There appears to be a wide variation in the perception of nurses and patients regarding the stress faced by patients in the intensive care unit. Similarities were noted between subject groups as to the nature of the stressors, although nurses tended to rate items over which they believed they had control as being more stressful than did the patients. Patients tended to rate items related to their illness and physical comfort as being most stressful. The results are in keeping with those from the Cochran & Ganong study.

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