Work Life Balance: How Men and Women React to Stress Differently

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, January 6th, 2015

According to a study published in the Oct. 21 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, there are clear, measurable physical differences from mental stress in men and women. Does this mean work life balance is more of a struggle for women?

Zainab Samad, M.D., from the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues analyzed data from 310 participants in the REMIT (Responses of Mental Stress-Induced Myocardial Ischemia to Escitalopram) study with stable ischemic heart disease. Participants underwent psychometric assessments, transthoracic echocardiography, and platelet aggregation studies at baseline and after three mental stress tasks.

Stresses NurseThe researchers found that, at baseline, women had higher depression and anxiety. Compared to men, women at rest had heightened platelet aggregation responses to serotonin and epinephrine. Following mental stress, women expressed more negative and less positive emotion and demonstrated higher collagen-stimulated platelet aggregation responses than men. Compared to women, though, men were more likely to show changes in traditional physiological measures such as blood pressure.

The evidence is clear. We need to reduce stress and care for our minds, bodies and spirits, and promote healthy work life balance. How stressed is your facility? Do your nurses lack the coping skills they need to manage stress and keep patients safe? Let’s discuss SelfCare for HealthCare™. Don’t wait another day – you and your nurses deserve it. Contact me today to schedule an exploratory conversation.

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