Stress and coping in hospice nursing staff

Andrew Hawkins, Ruth Howard, Janet Oyebode

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research suggests that the attachment style developed during childhood informs adult attachment styles, which in turn affects adult relationships and responses to stress. This study considers the sources of stress in hospice nurses and addresses the potential impact of their attachment styles on stress and coping experiences. Adult attachment style, stress and coping were measured in 84 nurses recruited from five hospices. The results supported previous research regarding the most common sources of stress in this nursing group. The study found partial support for the hypothesis that nurses with insecure attachment styles experience more stress than securely attached nurses. Hospice nurses with a fearful or dismissing attachment style were found to be less likely to seek emotional social support as a means of coping with stress than hospice nurses with a secure or preoccupied attachment style. Supervision, support and career-long training for nurses in hospices are recommended. Further research is needed to clarify the involvement of attachment style in hospice nurse stress and coping experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-572
Early online date27 Sept 2006
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2007


  • nurse
  • stress
  • attachment
  • coping
  • cancer


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