Hospital Pharmacists Have Better Health Behaviors Than Nurses

December 28, 2014
Rachel Lutz

Among hospital staff, pharmacists report better health behaviors and more participation in workplace health promotion activities than nurses.

Among hospital staff, pharmacists report better health behaviors and more participation in workplace health promotion activities than nurses, according to a study published in BMC Health Services Research.

Researchers from the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Taiwan surveyed full-time employees across 100 hospitals between May and July 2011 in order to compare health behaviors among occupational groups. Included in their observations were 4202 physicians, 31,639 nurses, 2315, pharmacists, 8161 other health care professionals, and 13,079 administrative personnel.

The questionnaires focused on areas such as sociodemographic variables, work characteristics, participation in hospital-based health promotion services, and health behaviors.

Overall, participants across all occupational groups scored relatively low on the scale for daily physical activity, generally recording between 1-2 days or 3-4 days of physical activity exceeding 30 minutes. Physicians reported more days of 30-minute physical activity than administrative staff and other health care professionals, followed by pharmacists, who reported participating in more physical activity than nurses.

Across the groups, 38.8% of physicians, 35.6% of administrative personnel, 35.4% of other health care professionals, 31.8% of pharmacists, and just 25.6% of nurses recorded 3 or more days of 30-minute physical exercise. Nurses also had the highest rate of bad or very bad stress adaptation, at 39.9%.

The group that was most likely to attend health promotion activities was administrative personnel, though attendance was low across all groups. Pharmacists and physicians participated fewer times than administrative personnel and other hospital staff, while nurses participated the least. However, nurses attended stress adaptation lectures more often than any other group.

“More effort is needed to motivate staff to participate in hospital-based health promotion activities, especially nurses, pharmacists, and physicians,” the authors concluded. “…Hospital-based health promotion programs could take the differences of occupational groups into consideration to tailor programs to their needs.”