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Antecedents and Outcomes of Nurses’ Rest Break Organization: A Scoping Review

  • Objectives: To prevent an accumulation of strain during work and to reduce error risk, many countries have made rest breaks mandatory. In the nursing literature, insufficient rest break organization is often reported. However, the outcomes of nurses’ rest break organization and its anteceding factors are less clear. Data sources: We searched for academic literature on nurses’ rest break organization in electronic databases (PubMed, Medline, PsycArticles, PsycINFO, CINAHL). Review methods: Our search yielded 89 potentially relevant articles published between 01/1990 and 04/2016. The final sample in our scoping review consisted of 36 publications and included data from 35 independent and international study samples and two reviews. Results: Several studies reported a high prevalence of missed, interrupted, or delayed rest breaks in nursing. Nurses’ rest breaks often related to better physical and mental well-being but mainly did not affect motivational outcomes and performance. Results on the effects of napping breaks were inconsistent. Rest break activities and rest break areas are further factors that relieve nurses from job demands and can be helpful in coping with them. Several study results indicated that temporal and quantitative work demands, job resources, and individual characteristics influence rest break organization. However, most of these findings stem from studies that do not allow causal conclusions to be drawn. Conclusions: Well-designed rest breaks influence nurses’ occupational well-being and behavior positively. However, the mechanisms and moderating break-, work-, and person-related factors involved in producing these effects are less well understood. Thus, further theory building and stronger empirical data are needed.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Johannes Wendsche, Argang Ghadiri, Amelie Bengsch, Jürgen Wegge
Parent Title (English):Int J Nurs Stud. (International Journal of Nursing Studies)
First Page:65
Last Page:80
Pubmed Id:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=28750245
Date of first publication:2017/07/14
Tag:Break; Nurse; Performance; Recovery; Rest; Review; Well-being
Departments, institutes and facilities:Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Entry in this database:2017/07/21