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High rate of depression among nurses
In a recent survey 18% of nurses reported depressive symptoms, twice as high as the general population. The study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is published in the May-June issue of Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Nurses who were depressed were likely to be heavier, less satisfied with their job, and had more physical and mental health problems. They were also less productive, the researchers reported.

“I am very concerned about these nurses, with the environment getting tougher and the healthcare system not looking at this concern,” lead researcher Susan Letvak, PhD, RN, associate professor of nursing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, told

It is not clear why so many nurses reported depressive symptoms. “Is it situational or the type of women who go into nursing? We cannot make that statement. It’s hard to know, except we know the environment is getting more stressful,” she noted.

Nurses who are depressed often have difficulty concentrating and are accident prone, she added.