Work-related stress among health professionals in Swiss acute care and rehabilitation hospitals-A cross-sectional study

J Clin Nurs. 2020 Aug;29(15-16):3064-3081. doi: 10.1111/jocn.15340. Epub 2020 Jun 16.


Aims and objectives: This study aimed to identify significant work stressors associated with stress symptoms, job satisfaction, intention to leave and health-related outcomes among health professionals.

Background: The workforce shortage of health professionals is a current concern, and a reduction of work-related stress is thus essential for retaining health professionals. Studies on the extent of work-related stress in different health professions are limited.

Methods: The research was conducted with a cross-sectional study encompassing 26 randomly selected acute care and rehabilitation hospitals. The sample consisted of 3,398 health professionals. The study was undertaken in accordance with the STROBE checklist for observational studies.

Results: Work-private life conflicts were significantly associated with health professionals' stress symptoms, job satisfaction, intention to leave the organisation and profession, their general health status, burnout symptoms and quality of sleep. Also, opportunities for development and the behaviour of the direct line manager (e.g. quality of leadership, unfair behaviour, rewards given) along with various profession-specific stressors were the important predictors revealed.

Conclusions: This study shows the high relevance of preventing and reducing work-private life conflicts, enhancing leadership qualities as well as opportunities for development among health professionals working in acute care and rehabilitation hospitals. Also, differences between health professions should be taken into consideration in developing strategies for reducing stress at work.

Relevance to clinical practice: The results of this study are particularly relevant for health professional leaders and reveal the urgent need in hospital practice for effective strategies to improve health professionals' work-private life balance, opportunities for development and quality of leadership.

Keywords: healthcare worker; hospital; occupational health; stress.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Critical Care / organization & administration
  • Critical Care / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Hospitals, Rehabilitation / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Occupational Stress / psychology*
  • Switzerland
  • Work-Life Balance