How Does Caring for Patients Affect Work Interference With Life in Nurses? A Daily Diary Study

Michele W. Gazica, Shani Pindek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patient care nurses frequently report strain-based work interference with life (WIL). Strain-based WIL has broad effects that negatively impact patient care professionals in their work and nonwork domains, as well as their patients. Existing work is not clear on the underlying mechanisms that link daily job stressors to strain-based WIL, or how those mechanisms might operate differently depending on external contextual factors. Thus, the purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to investigate how stressors frequently reported by patient care nurses (i.e., patient suffering and inadequate preparation) might influence nonwork domains via the process of work-related negative rumination and (b) to understand how those relationships might differ depending on high or low perceived organizational constraints. To that end, this study incorporated a within subject daily diary design that ran for seven consecutive days, in which 168 patient care nurses took part. The resulting data suggest that work-related negative rumination mediates the within-person, positive relationships between strain-based WIL and the two patient care stressors. The data further suggest that the within-person relationship between inadequate preparation and strain-based WIL via rumination depends on a nurse’s perceived level of organizational constraints as predicted by the underperformance as a stressor model. That is, when organizational constraints are high, that within-person relationship is weaker. These findings provide insight that can inform occupational-specific workplace interventions designed to disrupt the job stress process and protect the health and well-being of nurses and their patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Stress Management
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Psychological Association


  • Nursing
  • Occupational stress
  • Patient-care stressors
  • Work interference with family
  • Work-related rumination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Business, Management and Accounting (all)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychology (all)


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