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Symptoms of depression in hospital nurses are greater than in the general population

June 26, 2012
by Sandra Hoban
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Nursing jobs are physically and emotionally demanding. Because of cost controls, many hospital nurses have to work with reduced staffing levels. Add stress and exhaustion to that and it is a recipe for depression. In a study published in the May/June issue of Clinical Nurse Specialist, researchers found that  in their analysis of 1,171 hospital nurses surveyed in North Carolina, nurses showed symptoms of depression at twice the rate (18 percent) of the general population (9 percent). 

In a news article, lead researcher Susan Letvak, PhD, RN, commented, “Depressive symptoms affect enough nurses to warrant concern and intervention, and high-stress environments are likely to contribute to more health problems for nurses, including mental health issues.”

However, the study indicated that advanced practice nurses who are trained to recognize the symptoms of depression can intervene by discussing confidential treatment options.

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