Work-related stressors and occurrence of adverse events in an ED

Published:January 23, 2013DOI:



      The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between 12 work-related stressors and the occurrence of adverse events in an emergency department (ED).


      Nurses and physicians, working in an ED at a Danish regional hospital, filled out a questionnaire on occurrence and emotional impact of 12 work-related stressors after each shift during a 4-week period. The questionnaire also instructed the participants to describe any adverse events that they were involved in during the shift.


      Two hundred fourteen adverse events were reported during the 979 studied shifts. During the same period, only 27 adverse events were reported to the mandatory national reporting system, and only 10 of these were duplicates. A high variability of stressors and emotional impact among the different groups of participants was found. Linear regression analysis showed an association between involvement in adverse events and the occurrence and emotional impact of stressors across groups, whereas no significant association was found for age, seniority, shift type, or length.


      The study showed an association between the occurrence and impact of 12 work-related stressors and involvement in adverse events across the groups of participants. Furthermore, the study showed that most adverse events were not reported to the mandatory national reporting system.
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