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Nurses form the majority of the workforce for health care systems globally, but they face challenges including high turnover and mal-distribution. As a result of heavy workload, they experience health problems and burnout. This cross-sectional study measured the impact of illnesses among nursing staff at a tertiary hospital in Thailand. In July 2015, 780 staff members of the nursing department including registered nurses, nurse assistants and patient assistants, were asked to complete two parts of self-reported questionnaires including demographic data and prevalence and incident of diseases occurring during 2014. The number of deaths was collected from the human resource department. Disability weights and disease duration were derived from the Thai Burden of Diseases study and international resources. The total disease burden was calculated using an organizational perspective based on the Disability-Adjusted Life Years.
Our results showed that total disease burden among nursing staff at the hospital in 2014 was 48.3 Disability-Adjusted Working Years. The Years of Working with Disability was 48.2% of total disease burden. The top three leading causes of disease burdens were ovarian cancer, 45.8% anxiety disorders 14.6%, and osteoarthritis 13.9%. Anxiety comprised the highest nonfatal cause which occurred mostly among younger nurses and those working in the inpatient wards. Cancer was the only fatal disease, incurring the largest burden, and accounting for 51.8% of total disease burden. Our finding raises attention to psychological conditions occurring among the young and inpatient wards and musculoskeletal disorders. It suggested that further investment to improve working conditions and support for nursing staff should be done. Moreover, patient handling and ergonomic training programs for nursing students could be included in the nursing curriculum, as well as refresher courses for employed nurses.
Copyright: The Pacific Rim International Journal of Nursing Research, Thailand Nursing & Midwifery Council has exclusive rights to publish, reproduce and distribute the manuscript and all contents therein.
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