Changes in job stress, musculoskeletal symptoms, and complaints of unfavorable working conditions among nurses after the adoption of a computerized order communication system

Hyung Joon Jhun, Sung Il Cho, Jong Tae Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Order communication system (OCS) is a real-time computerized hospital information system that supports communication of orders from the ward users to the service departments. The adoption of an OCS may profoundly alter the service patterns of healthcare workers. As a result, job stress, musculoskeletal symptoms, and complaints of unfavorable working conditions can be expected to increase. This study investigated changes in job stress, musculoskeletal symptomfs, and complaints of unfavorable working conditions among nurses after an OCS had been adopted and whether adoption of the system affected the changes. Methods: A group of nurses employed in a university hospital in Korea was surveyed 1 month before and 3 months after the OCS had been adopted. We used Karasek's job contents questionnaire (JCQ) to evaluate job stress. The cumulative trauma disorder (CTD) questionnaire was used to assess the presence of musculoskeletal symptoms. The presence of unfavorable working conditions was also assessed. Next, we evaluated whether non-work factors (such as demographic factors and life events) had influence on job stress, musculoskeletal symptoms, and complaints of unfavorable working conditions after adoption of the OCS. Results: One hundred thirty nurses from the hospital (51.2%) responded to both surveys. Several JCQ scales were notably altered after OCS adoption; psychological job demand was significantly decreased (P < 0.01), although subjective assessment for hazardous conditions was significantly increased (P < 0.01). There was a significant increase in back complaints (P < 0.05). There was considerable decrease in the number of nurses who complained of 'increase in work intensity' (P < 0.05), 'increase of staying time to deal with remaining duties' (P < 0.05), and 'abrupt change of duties' (P < 0.01). According to the analysis for the associations between non-work factors and significantly changed variables, only two non-work factors, 'tenure' and 'conflicts with friend(s)', showed statistical significance with complaints of 'increase in work intensity' (P < 0.05) Conclusions: This study suggests that a newly adopted computerized system might have provoked changes in job stress, musculoskeletal symptoms, and the complaints of unfavorable working conditions. It was found that, despite the overall favorable changes, complaints of hazardous conditions and back symptoms increased.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-367
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Volume77
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jun

Keywords

  • Computerization
  • Job stress
  • Musculoskeletal symptoms
  • Working conditions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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