Psychological stress experienced by health care personnel

Scand J Work Environ Health. 1987 Feb;13(1):1-8. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.2086.


Health care personnel consider the challenge of their work to be the principal reason for job satisfaction. Problems of work organization and the small number of personnel cause quantitative overload that has been perceived as problematic by various professional groups in health care units. Role ambiguity and role conflicts are also experienced frequently. Social contacts between patients and personnel, as well as social contacts among the personnel themselves, are sometimes thought to be very problematic. The increase in violent behavior towards health care personnel is a central stressor of their work. The way that work characteristics and strain are experienced, however, is affected by the profession and, especially, by the workplace. Psychological stress reactions are relatively common among health care personnel. The effects of work reorganization, the clarification of responsibilities, increased supplementary training and professional supervision, and the application of directions for the prevention of violence on the stress and strain of health care professionals should be studied as a means to diminish stress and increase well-being and productivity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Finland
  • Health Workforce*
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases* / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Role
  • Stress, Psychological* / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological* / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological* / prevention & control