An Interview Study of Work- and Home-based Stressors in Radiation Therapists and Radiation Oncology Nurses: Implications for Provision of Psychotherapy Services to Cancer-care Health Professionals
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University of New England
University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld. Australia
Radiation Oncology Mater Centre, Brisbane, Qld
Radiation Oncology Mater Centre, Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Submission date: 2015-02-24
Acceptance date: 2015-04-07
Publication date: 2015-09-01
Corresponding author
Christopher Francis Sharpley   

University of New England, Queen Elizabeth Drive, 2351 Armidale, Australia
Arch Psych Psych 2015;17(2):21-30
Aim of the study:
To identify and quantify the major sources of workplace and non-workplace stress, plus commonly-used coping strategies among a group of cancer therapists.

Subject or material and methods:
Individual personal interviews were conducted with 16 Radiation Therapists (RTs) and 13 Radiation Oncology Nurses (ONs) at two Brisbane hospitals.

Major workplace stressors were administration difficulties, patient issues, equipment and staffing issues; Major coping strategies included seeking help from mental health professionals, talking (with colleagues, supervisor, family), doing extra work, and doing nothing or withdrawing from work problems. Non-workplace stressors included family health and stress, relationship issues and financial problems. Coping strategies included taking time for self, exercise and acceptance.

The variations in stressors and coping strategies between the hospitals and professional streams studied indicate that generic interventions to improve the well-being of workers are less likely to be successful than those that are tailored.

Provision of psychotherapy services for cancer therapists require accurate data regarding their major stressors and coping styles. The findings from this study help focus those services for maximum effectiveness.

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