Analysis of self-care strategies among nurses in southern Poland – a cross-sectional survey
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University of Bielsko-Biała, Bielsko-Biała, Poland (Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences)
Online publication date: 2021-06-23
Corresponding author
Beata Babiarczyk   

University of Bielsko-Biala, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Willowa 2, 43-309 Bielsko-Biala, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2022;35(1):13-25
Objectives: This study aimed to explore the self-care strategies undertaken by Polish nurses, and more specifically: to assess the participants’ self-care strategies; to check self-medication patterns in the study group; and to analyze compliance with medical recommendations regarding pharmacotherapy. Material and Methods: A quantitative and cross-sectional survey was conducted to examine the phenomenon of interest. The study employed a questionnaire survey with an independently designed questionnaire as a research tool. A total of 446 registered nurses taking part in different professional training courses for nurses in January–June 2018 who agreed to participate were included in the study. Results: The findings of this study reveal generally poor self-care strategies and compliance with medical recommendations among Polish nurses. The most frequent health behaviors among the surveyed nurses were caring for personal hygiene and a healthy diet. About 31% of the nurses confirmed supplements use. The most common reasons for taking supplements concerned the prevention of vitamin and mineral deficiencies (77.5%), and boosting of the immune system (49.3%). The most popular supplements included packs of vitamins (57.2%), single vitamin D3 (33.3%) and magnesium (31.2%). The vast majority of participants (79.8%) took some kind of over-the-counter drugs (OTCs) in the last 6 months, most often painkillers and flu medications, relying most frequently on the information included on the drug leaflets. The analysis showed a statistically significant relationship between declared OTC use and age, marital status, years of professional experience and economic status. Overall, 26.9% of the study participants declared the use of both supplements and OTCs, while 16.4% of the participants used neither supplements nor OTCs. Conclusions: Self-care strategies undertaken by nurses should be seen as an essential factor in their positive therapeutic relationship with patients. The ageing nursing workforce should make all of us increasingly aware that their self-care needs will increase as well. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2022;35(1):13–25
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