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Several studies report that psychiatric nursing is a highly stressful occupation. The ways that nurses use in order to deal with stressful situations have a serious effect on their psychological mood and their health status. The purpose of this study was to investigate the coping strategies in predicting of depression and anxiety among mental health nurses working in public psychiatric hospitals. A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted in Athens, Greece from April to May 2017. A questionnaire consisting of the socio-demographic and work-related characteristics, the Patient Health Questionnaire-2, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-2, and the 38-items Ways of Coping Questionnaire - Greek version, was completed by a total of 110 mental health nurses. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using the logistic regression model. Coping strategies focused on the problem (positive re-evaluation, positive approach, problem solving, and seeking social support) were the most commonly used by the mental health nurses. Strategies focused on emotion (prayer/daydream, prayer, avoidance/escape, resignation, and denial) were positively associated with depression and anxiety outcomes. Also, the coping skills of problem solving (Adjusted Odds Ratio, AOR=0.402), and seeking social support (AOR=3.719) were significant predictors only for elevated anxiety symptoms. The results from the study demonstrated the importance of coping behaviours in mental health problems of psychiatric nurses.
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