Ann Occup Environ Med.  2019 ;31(1):e18. 10.35371/aoem.2019.31.e18.

The association between serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) levels and job-related stress among female nurses

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital, Hwasun, Korea. jdmoon@conllian.net
  • 2Occupational Lung Diseases Institute, Korea Workers' Compensation & Welfare Service, Incheon, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) is an endogenous steroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland. DHEAS has been suggested to play a protective role against psychosocial stress. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between job-related stress and blood concentrations of DHEAS according to occupational stress factors among female nurses.
METHODS
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 118 premenopausal nurses from 4 departments (operating room, emergency room [ER], intensive care unit, and ward) of a university hospital. Participants were all rotating night shift workers who have worked for over a year and mean age of 33.5 ± 4.8 years. Data from structured questionnaires including the Korean Occupational Stress Score, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) were used.
RESULTS
In the high job-related stressor group, scores of BDI, BAI, and PSQI were significantly higher than low-stressor group. ER nurses had relatively more work-burden related stressors, but they had significantly lower levels of anxiety and depression than other groups. And, ER nurses showed higher levels of DHEAS than the other department nurses. The differences were significant (p = 0.003). Additionally, there was a statistically significant difference even after adjusting for factors that could affect level of DHEAS, such as age, body mass index, drinking, and physical activity (p = 0.039).
CONCLUSIONS
This result suggests the possibility that DHEAS may play a role as a marker of proper stress management. The capacity to secrete DHEAS is not simply due to workload or job stressor but could be determined depending on how individuals and groups deal with and resolve stress. Proper resolution of stress may affect positive hormone secretion.

Keyword

Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate; Depression; Nurses; Stress

MeSH Terms

Adrenal Glands
Anxiety
Body Mass Index
Cross-Sectional Studies
Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate*
Dehydroepiandrosterone*
Depression
Drinking
Emergency Service, Hospital
Female*
Humans
Intensive Care Units
Motor Activity
Dehydroepiandrosterone
Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate
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