Introduction: Depression is one of the most common and serious disorders that threaten human physical and psychological health. The incidence of depression in nurses who work in special wards compared to general wards has been debated for a longtime. In this study, we planned to compare the rate of depression and related factors between these two groups.
Materials & Methods: Questionnaires about demographic factors, duration of daily work time and marital status were distributed randomly among 200 nurses working in special wards and 200 nurses working in general wards in 3 hospitals affiliated to Shahid Beheshti University (Modarres, Taleghani, Shohadaye Tajrish hospitals) in the summer and autumn 2006. The causes of admission of the patients were determined to assess their role in the occurrence of depression. To analyze depression, Beck depression inventory (BDI) score was used and the related intervening factors were compared between the two groups.
Results: The two groups were similar in sex (p=0.12), duration of daily work time (p=0.18) and marital status (p=0.23). The major cause of admission in special wards was malignancy (33.3 %) which was significantly higher than the rate of cancer patients in general wards (7.8%, p=0.03) (Table 1) Mean BDI score in special wards’ nurses and in general wards’ nurses was 9.3 ±7.36 and1±6.66, respectively.
Conclusion: All nurses had some degrees of anxiety and stress, but there was no significant difference in the incidence of depression; however, it seems that exposure to numerous stressful experiences over a life time of nursing and a lack of control over these experiences contributed to the high level of anxiety and depression seen in all nursing groups. Although the intensive wards’ nurses were more involved with cancer patients compared to general wards’ nurses, the rate of depression did not show any significant differences in the two groups. Therefore, dealing with hopeless cancer patients did not increase the rate of depression in intensive wards’ nursing stuff and the intensive care environment does no
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