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1.1    Background to the study

The Nursing profession has been known to be an integral part of the health care system, they are needed in all stages and levels of healthcare. The registered nurse is responsible for implementing the physicians’ orders, such as giving medications or changing dresses and assessing the client’s responses to the treatment plan. The nurse is also responsible for evaluating the safety of the medical plan of care before implementing it. Nurses critically interpret patient information and assess data to make decisions about what actions are needed. The nurse focuses on helping patients meet their needs, including physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs.

This includes working with the health care team to develop and implement the best individualised, evidence based plan of care for the patient. Nurses are patient advocates and facilitate optimal health, functioning and wellness in the care of individuals, families, communities and population. Nurses play the roles of caregivers, decision makers, communicator, manager of care, patient advocate and teacher. The profession requires discipline, time, energy and dedication.

The average nurse has to maintain between Work and Lifestyle (family, health and leisure). Work life balance is a struggle and his found in all types of professions. Part of the struggle with work life balance is the challenge of juggling work and personal life. People struggle with work life balance, this struggle has been associated with increase in psychological distress, which is a term used to describe a range of symptoms and experiences of a person which can impact their level of functioning. Psychological distress can result in negative views of the environment and others. Clinical symptoms of psychological distress include physical and emotional exhaustion, insomnia, loss in productivity, burn out, irritability, anxiety and distraction. Previous studies on psychological distress among nurses has shown various degrees, A Canadian study of psychological distress showed that 37.1% had severe psychological distress (Holden, Metha, Cunningham & Mcleod, 2001), A Taiwanese study reported that 48% of nurses suffer from psychological distress (Yang, Pan & Yang, 2004). Another study in Lagos reported psychological distress  ranging  3% to 71%.(Gureje & Lasebikan , 2014).

The identified aetiological factors implicated in psychological distress of nurses include increasing work load, long working hours, shift and night duties, inter-professional conflicts with other hospital professionals, psychological pressures from relations of patients, job insecurity, inadequate resources, shortage of other nurses, uncooperative patients and difficult nurse-nurse relationships. The Observed consequences of   prolonged emotional distress of nurses were found to be associated with development of disorders such as musculoskeletal illnesses, cardiovascular diseases, anxiety depression and suicidal ideation. The work life imbalanced and the problem it is causing for nurses who are important cogs in the health sector demands a study. This cannot be overemphasised due to the fact that literature on this topic is scanty in this country and this problem is negatively affecting nurses who are one of the primary health care givers, the problem of psychological distress of nurses cannot be ignored.

This study will be conducted to assess the influence or impact that work life balance has on nurses in Ile-Ife and suggest steps to curb or reduce the problem of psychological distress that results from it.

1.2    Statement of the problem

Over the years, studies have been conducted in the area of psychological distress on nurses and factors that cause it with different researches showing different causes of psychological distress among nurses in the western world and even in the developing world. This studies have shed light on how nurses suffer from psychological distress and the factors that cause this distress, this research will continue this trend of studying psychological distress among nurses and  will focus its scope on nurses in Ile-Ife an ancient yoruba city in south-western Nigeria, hopefully bringing into light what causes psychological distress among nurses in Ile-Ife and seeing if work life balance has any aetiological impact on this distress or other factors or a combination of factors.

1.3    Research questions

This study will answer the following questions

1           Does work life balance have any influence on psychological distress?

2           Will there be significant gender difference on psychological distress?  

3           Do other aetiological factors such as marital status, age, career duration and work shift have an influence on psychological distress?

1.4    Objectives of the study

The purpose of this study is primarily to:

  1. Examine the influence of work balance on psychological distress
  2. Find out if there will be a significant gender difference on psychological distress  
  3. Assess the impact of other variables such as increased workload and shortage of nurses will have influence on psychological distress

1.5 Significance of the study

This study seeks to assess the influence of work life balance on psychological distress. It will provide up to date information about the relationship between work balance and psychological distress. Furthermore, it will be a tool for academicians and health care practitioners and stakeholders as it updates their knowledge about work balance and psychological distress.

1.6 Scope of the study 

This research work was conducted among Nurses in Ile-Ife, Osun state. The study used questionnaires to elicit responses from respondents. The study examined the influence of Work-Life Balance on Psychological Distress among nurses.

1.7 Definition of terms

Work-Life Balance: A concept including proper prioritizing between work and lifestyle. This is the Independent variable in the study.

Psychological Distress: Term used to describe a range of symptoms and experiences of a person’s internal life that are commonly held to be troubling, confusing or out of the ordinary. This is the Dependent variable in this study.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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