Work and family role juggling and mood states of Hong Kong public health nurses with children


  • Ann T. Y. Shiu MSc (Health Services Management) MSc (Health Education and Health Promotion) HV RMW RN

    1. Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong
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This study aims to investigate the daily mood states of public health nurses (PHNs) in managerial roles with children in Hong Kong, as a result of multiple role juggling (i.e. simultaneously attending to demands of different roles) using the experience sampling method. Convenience sampling was used to recruit 20 subjects. A watch was worn that beeped at six random times each day for 7 days as a signal to complete an experience sampling diary. PHNs on average responded to 34 signals (80%) to complete the experience sampling diaries. Two major findings provide the focus of this paper. First, results show that PHNs had minimal inter-role juggling between work and family as compared with previous studies in the United States. Cultural factors, sequentially dealing with family and work issues, having a domestic maid or a relative to see to household chores as well as strong spouse support are suggested as the reasons. These results have implications for nursing management and nursing practice. Second, the results also reveal PHNs as having an overall flat affect. It is suggested that PHNs may be using a ‘calm and detached’ coping style for occupational stress. This coping style has implications on the PHNs’ emotional health as well as nurse-client relationships.