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Reducing occupational stress among registered nurses in very remote Australia: a participatory action research approach


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Lenthall, S, Wakerman, J, Dollard, MF, Dunn, S, Knight, S, Opie, T, Rickard, G ORCID: 0000-0003-3896-3323 and MacLeod, M 2018 , 'Reducing occupational stress among registered nurses in very remote Australia: a participatory action research approach' , Collegian, vol. 25, no. 2 , pp. 181-191 , doi: 10.1016/j.colegn.2017.04.007.

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Background: Nurses in very remote areas of Australia (RANs), work in complex and isolated settings forwhich they are often inadequately prepared, and stress levels are high. This paper, based on the ‘Backfrom the edge’ project, evaluates the development and implementation of an intervention to reduce andprevent the impact of occupational stress in the RAN workforce in the Northern territory.Methods: The methods involved a combined participatory action research/organisational developmentmodel, involving seven steps, to develop and implement system changes within the (then) Northern TerritoryDepartment of Health and Families (NTDH&F). The development, implementation and evaluationwas informed via information from participants collected during workshops and interviews. Pre and postsurveys were undertaken to evaluate the study.Results: Occupational stress interventions developed by the workgroups were categorised into four maingroups: (1) remote context, (2) workload and scope of practice, (3) poor management, and (4) violenceand safety concerns. The main interventions centred on promoting a well educated, stable workforce.There were very few measurable changes as a result of the interventions as many were not able to beimplemented in the time period of the study, but implementation is continuing.Conclusion: While the outcome evaluations showed few effects,the study through consensus approaches,provides a blueprint for reducing stress among remote area nurses and evidence which should informpolicy and practice with respect to service delivery in remote areas.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Lenthall, S and Wakerman, J and Dollard, MF and Dunn, S and Knight, S and Opie, T and Rickard, G and MacLeod, M
Keywords: Remote area nurses, occupational health stress job demand/resources
Journal or Publication Title: Collegian
Publisher: Netherlands
ISSN: 1322-7696
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.colegn.2017.04.007
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Australian College of Nursing Ltd. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

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