Condition of Mental Health Problems Among Nurses: A Study of Hospital Nurses in Japan

Monday, July 11, 2011

Akiko Miki, PhD
Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
Maki Tominaga, PhD
Faculty of nursing, Hyogo University of Health Sciences, Kobe, Japan

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to study the present condition of mental health problems among nurses and assess effective ways to improve the condition.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to explore effective support for nurses with mental health priblems.


Mental health problems among nurses are a critical issue in Japan. This study aimed to examine the present condition of mental health problems among nurses and assess effective ways to improve the condition.


 Approval for this study was obtained from the institutional ethics committee at the University of Tsukuba in 2010. We distributed anonymous self-administered questionnaires to all staff nurses and nurse managers (n=880) who attended lectures organized by prefectural nursing associations (n=6) in Japan. The questionnaire items addressed basic attributes (e.g., individual attributes), experiences which they had working with nurses who were suffering from mental problems, the nurses’  clinical condition and outcome, the factors which influenced the condition and the degree of their recognition about the factors, and effective ways to improve the condition. The response rate was 80% (n=701). We calculated descriptive statistics, the degree of recognition, and effective countermeasures. Concerning recognition, we conducted t-test and ANOVA to examine the difference between basic attributes.


 Thirty-one percent of the subjects were working for hospitals with a capacity from 250 to 399 beds. Forty-nine percent were staff nurses, and 95% were female nurses. Seventy-one percent have worked with nurses suffering from mental problems, and they answered that individual characteristics influenced most on the nurse’s clinical condition. Ninety percent of subjects responded that the number of nursing suffering from this condition will increase. Forty percent of the subjects had experienced to support or manage the nurses (mean= 3.10 person), and 40% of the nurses suffering from mental problems resigned.  Concerning experience and recognition, managerial nurses had more experience, and the score of each recognition was significantly higher than that of staff nurses.


The results suggested mental health problems among hospital nurses are a serious issue and effective measures are needed in hospitals in Japan.