Some health effects of work-related stress among nurses working in critical care units.

Eldin, S. A., D. Sabry, M. Abdelgwad, and M. A. Ramadan, "Some health effects of work-related stress among nurses working in critical care units.", Toxicology and industrial health, vol. 37, issue 3, pp. 142-151, 2021.


Occupational stress is a major health problem among nurses. Critical care nurses appear to experience more stress at work compared to others. Stress is associated with multiple system disorders, hormonal, and immunological disturbances, and genetic effects. The aim of our study was the detection of health effects of work-related stress and to investigate the link between stress and immune response, alterations of hormones, and expression of micro-RNA (miRNA) among critical care nurses. An exposed 80 critical care nurses matched to 80 controls were involved in our study. Full history, psychological assessment using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ12) and a complete clinical examination were done for both groups. Serum interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free triiodothyronine, and free thyroxine (FT4) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, micro-RNA26, and 142 extractions. The exposed group had a mean age of 41 ± 10 years old and mean work duration of 22 ± 9.7 years, matched to 80 controls. The exposed group (32.5%) was associated with severe psychological distress (GHQ scores > 20) compared to only 5% among controls. In addition, the exposed group had a significantly higher level of miRNA 26, miRNA 142, TSH, LH, and IL-6 when compared to the control group. However, there a significantly lower level of FT4 among the exposed group compared to the control group, there were no statistically significant differences between the studied participants regarging FT3,FSH and IL-10 levels. Stress is prevalent among critical care nurses and is reflected on their psychological health with an increase in inflammatory cytokines and disturbances in endocrine functions.