Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


The questions addressed in this study were:

1. Are there any significant relationships between selected personal and professional characteristics of the hospice nurse and his/her ability to cope with work stress?

2. Which personal characteristics of the hospice nurse are the best predictors of adequate adjustment to his/her work?

The sample studied consisted of 79 registered nurse hospice care providers in the state of Oregon.

The survey instrumentation included: a personal data form; the Daily Hassles Scale (DHS), and the Ways of Coping Scale (WOC) by Lazarus and Folkman; the Staff Burnout Scale for Health Professionals (SBS) by Jones; Olson's Family Adaptability and Cohesion Scale (FACES); a social support scale (SS) by LaRocco, House, and French; and Templer's Death Anxiety Scale (DAS).

Correlational analysis and analysis of variance relating all data to the SBS were used to address the first research question. Stepwise regression was used to answer the second question. Correlational analysis revealed that all of the subscales on the DHS correlated positively with SBS as well as clinical frustration due to lack of funding and SS coworker subscale and SS total scale. Age and woe Positive Reappraisal subscale were negatively correlated with SBS.

Analysis of variance revealed specific job training, and a regular support group in the hospice program to be significant contributors to the reduction of burnout. Faith in Jesus Christ as the means of access to God's presence after death also contributed to lower burnout levels when compared with nurses who endorsed universalism or an access through good works orientation.

The combined DHS was found to be the best single predictor of staff burnout. The study supports the notion that the nurse's work situation, home situation, personal beliefs and life philosophy may be more significantly related to burnout than actual clinical situations. It may not be the stressor as much as the personal context into which the stressor is injected which determines burnout.

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