Effects of relaxation training, combining imagery, and meditation on the stress level of Chinese nurses working in modern hospitals in Taiwan

Issues Ment Health Nurs. 1993 Jan-Mar;14(1):51-66. doi: 10.3109/01612849309006890.


The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of relaxation training, which was based on the cognitive-behavioral model and specifically focused on helping Chinese registered nurses employed in large teaching hospitals to reduce their work stress in Taiwan, Republic of China. The study design was a pretest-posttest control design with two posttest points. The 137 subjects were selected randomly from three first-ranked teaching hospitals. Twenty-three subjects in the experimental group and 23 in the control group from each hospital participated in the study. The treatment of the experimental group consisted of two sessions of relaxation training based on Smith's (1988) cognitive behavioral model of relaxation at weeks 1 and 2, with a follow-up session in the fifth week. The control group had the same sequence of sessions with a presentation by the researcher on theory analysis in nursing. The mean scores on the Nurse Stress Checklist (NSC) and the Chinese General Health Questionnaire (CGHQ) differed significantly between the experimental and control group in posttest 2 at week 5. These results supported the hypotheses that the relaxation training decreased the Chinese nurses' self-reported work stress as measured by NSC and increased the Chinese nurses' self-reported psychophysiologic health as measured by CGHQ. The significant difference on means of the CGHQ in posttest 1 at week 2 showed that the self-reported psychophysiologic health level responded to the relaxation training earlier than to the self-reported work stress level. In the relaxation treatment, duration of practice was an important factor of the effectiveness of the treatment on the dependent variable of NSC. It is suggested that even brief teaching of relaxation techniques may reduce work stress levels and promote a sense of psychophysiologic health in Chinese nurses who are employed in large teaching hospitals in Taiwan.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology
  • Burnout, Professional / prevention & control*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Relaxation Therapy / standards*