"Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur from direct or indirect exposure to traumatic events. Nurses are at risk of developing PTSD due to their indirect and/or direct exposure to traumatic situations while providing care to vulnerable patient populations.
Two aims guided the focus of this review: (a) describe the prevalence of PTSD in registered nurses, (b) identify factors associated with work-related PTSD.
An integrative review of the literature was completed utilizing methods outlined by Whittemore and Knafl (2005). This approach involved five steps: problem identification, literature search, data evaluation, data analysis, and presentation. This literature review method was chosen so that a combination of diverse methodologies, such as qualitative and quantitative studies, could be incorporated. The literature search was conducted in PubMed and the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL). Data analysis procedures consisted of four concurrent activities: data reduction, data display, data comparison, and conclusion drawing and verification. Conclusions were narratively synthesized and thematically presented by review aim. This project is research-based.
Twenty-four articles met the criteria for review. One theme emerged from the synthesis of literature describing the prevalence of PTSD in nurses: All Over the Board. Authors reported vastly different PTSD prevalence rates across studies likely due to variability in measurement. Four themes emerged from the synthesis of factors that influence PTSD among nurses: The Workplace Matters, Relationships Matter, It Hurts to Care, and Interpersonal Strengths. These overarching themes captured a multitude of factors that occur across three levels of influence: organizational, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. This review highlights PTSD as a growing international concern in the nursing profession. The thematic analysis and associated subthemes provide a framework for the design of interventions to reduce the risk of PTSD symptom development among nurses working in inpatient settings."
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