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Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms Among Nurses

J Affect Disord; ePub 2018 Feb 27; Duan-Porter, et al

Interventions to prevent depression in healthcare workers should consider multiple job and individual factors, according to a recent study. Potential components include strategies to manage negative affectivity and reduce avoidant coping—such as cognitive reframing and mindfulness-based techniques—and organizational approaches to address burnout through augmentation of job resources. Researchers evaluated date from a cohort of nursing workers (n=281) in a private hospital system, with baseline assessments of personality, job characteristics, and coping. Burnout and depression were measured at baseline and during monthly follow-ups. They found:

  • Personality trait of negative affectivity accounted for 36% of between-individual variation in depressive symptoms over 12 months, while job characteristics and coping explained an additional 5% and 8% of this variation, respectively.
  • Exhaustion dimension of burnout was associated with between-individual variation in depressive symptoms (fixed effect β coefficient 2.44), but not with within-individual variation in symptoms.
  • Disengagement dimension of burnout was not associated with between-individual variation in depressive symptoms, but contributed to within-individual variation in depressive symptoms over time (fixed effect β coefficient 0.52).

Duan-Porter W, Hatch D, Pendergast JF, et al. 12-month trajectories of depressive symptoms among nurses—contribution of personality, job characteristics, coping, and burnout. [Published online ahead of print February 27, 2018]. J Affect Disord. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2018.02.090.