Occupational Stress among Critical Care Nurses: A Comparative Study of Public and Private Sector

Zahra Chegini


Background: Occupational stress, and the unfavorable consequences associated with it, is something frequently experienced by nurses.

Materials and Methods: This cross‑sectional study comparing occupational stress experienced in public and private hospitals was conducted in Iran during 2017 and involved 203 critical care nurses. Data were obtained through a self‑administered questionnaire and was analyzed using an independent sample t‑test.

Results: The overall mean (SD) score of occupational stress experienced by critical care nurses in public hospitals was greater than that experienced in private hospitals; 3.65 (0.77) vs. 3.18 (0.94). This difference was statistically significant (t = 3.77, p < 0.001). Among the five dimensions of occupational stress, the highest mean (SD) scores in both public and private hospitals related to organizational policies, the respective scored was 3.66 (0.94) and 3.34 (1.18).

Conclusions: Hospital managers, especially those in public hospitals, should review existing organizational policies and improve the workplace environment in order to decrease occupational stress.



Comparative study, critical care nurses, Iran, occupational stress

Full Text:



Kemppainen V, Tossavainen K, Turunen H. Nurses’ roles in health promotion practice: An integrative review. Health Promot Int 2013;28:490‑501.

Sarafis P, Rousaki E, Tsounis A, Malliarou M, Lahana L, Bamidis P, et al. The impact of occupational stress on nurses’ caring behaviors and their health related quality of life. BMC Nurs 2016;15:56.

Li L, Ai H, Gao L, Zhou H, Liu X, Zhang Z, et al. Moderating effects of coping on work stress and job performance for nurses in tertiary hospitals: A cross‑sectional survey in China. BMC Health Serv Res 2017;17:401.

Vahedian‑Azimi A, Hajiesmaeili M, Kangasniemi M, Fornés‑Vives J, Hunsucker RL, Rahimibashar F, et al. Effects of stress on critical care nurses: A national cross‑sectional study. J Intensive Care Med 2017;34:311‑22.

Chegini Z, Asghari Jafarabadi M, Kakemam E. Occupational stress, quality of working life and turnover intention amongst nurses. Crit Care Nurse 2019. doi: 10.1111/nicc.12419.

Hashemian SM, Farzanegan B, Fathi M, Ardehali SH, Vahedian‑Azimi A, Asghari‑Jafarabadi M, et al. Stress among Iranian nurses in critical wards. Iran Red Crescent Med J 2015;17:e22612.

Elshaer NS, Moustafa MS, Aiad MW, Ramadan MI. Job stress and burnout syndrome among critical care healthcare workers. Alexandria J Med 2017;54:273‑7.

Adhikari NK, Fowler RA, Bhagwanjee S, Rubenfeld GD. Critical care and the global burden of critical illness in adults. Lancet 2010;376:1339‑46.

Pires BSM, Oliveira LZFd, Siqueira CL, Feldman LB, Oliveira RA, Gasparino RC. Nurse work environment: Comparison between private and public hospitals. Einstein (São Paulo) 2018;16:1‑6.

Hajizadeh M, Nghiem HS. Hospital care in Iran: An examination of national health system performance. Int J Healthc Manag 2013;6:201‑10.

Chan ZC, Tam W, Lung MK, Wong W, Chau C. On nurses moving from public to private hospitals in Hong Kong. J Clin Nurs 2013;22:1382‑90.

Mosadeghrad AM, Ferlie E, Rosenberg D. A study of relationship between job stress, quality of working life and turnover intention among hospital employees. Health Serv Manage Res 2011;24:170‑81.

Katyal S. Burnout among nurses working in government and private hospitals. Stud Home Comm Sci 2013;7:83‑5.

Nogueira LdS, Koike KM, Sardinha DS, Padilha KG, Sousa RM. Nursing workload in public and private intensive care units. Rev Bras Ter Intensiva 2013;25:225‑32.

Sokhanvar M, Kakemam E, Chegini Z, Sarbakhsh P. Hospital nurses’ job security and turnover intention and factors contributing to their turnover intention: A cross‑sectional study. Nurs Midwifery Stud 2018;7:133‑40.

Farsi Z, Dehghan‑Nayeri N, Negarandeh R, Broomand S. Nursing profession in Iran: An overview of opportunities and challenges. Jpn J Nurs Sci 2010;7:9‑18.

Mohamedkheir RA, Amara ZM, Balla SA, Mohamed HAA. Occupational stress among nurses working in intensive care units in Public Hospitals of Khartoum State, Sudan 2016. Am J Public Health Res 2016;4:166‑71.

Labrague L, McEnroe‑Petitte D, Gloe D, Tsaras K, Arteche D, Maldia F. Organizational politics, nurses’ stress, burnout levels, turnover intention and job satisfaction. Int Nurs Rev 2017;64:109‑16.

Mehta R, Singh I. Stress among nurses working in critical care areas at a tertiary care teaching hospital, Nepal. J Chitwan Med Coll 2015;4:42‑8.

Chatterjee M, Roy P. A comparative study on role satisfaction among nurses in public and private sector hospitals in and around Kolkata. Indian J Health Wellbeing 2018;9:837‑40.


  • There are currently no refbacks.