Development of a revised Jalowiec Coping Scale for use by emergency clinicians: A cross-sectional scale development study

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Greenslade, JH
Wallis, MC
Johnston, A
Carlström, E
Wilhelms, D
Thom, O
Abraham, L
Crilly, J
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Objectives: The aim of this study was to develop and validate a scale to measure the coping strategies used by emergency staff in response to workplace stress. To achieve this aim, we developed a refined Jalowiec Coping Scale (JCS), termed the Jalowiec Coping Scale-Emergency Department (JCS-ED) and validated this scale on a sample of emergency clinicians.

Design: A cross-sectional survey incorporating the JCS, the working environment scale-10 and a measure of workplace stressors was administered between July 2016 and June 2017. The JCS-ED was developed in three stages: 1) item reduction through content matter experts, 2) exploratory factor analysis for further item reduction and to identify the factor structure of the revised scale and 3) confirmatory factor analyses to confirm the factors identified within the exploratory factor analysis.

Setting: Six Emergency Departments (EDs) in Australia and four in Sweden. There were three tertiary hospitals, five large urban hospitals and two small urban hospitals.

Participants: Participants were eligible for inclusion if they worked full-time or part-time as medical or nursing staff in the study EDs. The median age of participants was 35 years (IQR: 28–45 years) and they had been working in the ED for a median of 5 years (IQR: 2–10 years). 79% were females and 76% were nurses.

Results: A total of 875 ED staff completed the survey (response rate 51%). The content matter experts reduced the 60-item scale to 32 items. Exploratory factor analyses then further reduced the scale to 18 items assessing three categories of coping: problem-focussed coping, positive emotion-focussed coping and negative emotion-focussed coping. Confirmatory factor analysis supported this three-factor structure. Negative coping strategies were associated with poor perceptions of the work environment and higher ratings of stress.

Conclusions: The JCS-ED assesses maladaptive coping strategies along with problem-focussed and emotion-focussed coping styles. It is a short instrument that is likely to be useful in measuring the types of coping strategies employed by staff.

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BMJ Open

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© Author(s) 2019. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made.

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Clinical sciences

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emergency departments

scale development


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Greenslade, JH; Wallis, MC; Johnston, A; Carlström, E; Wilhelms, D; Thom, O; Abraham, L; Crilly, J, Development of a revised Jalowiec Coping Scale for use by emergency clinicians: A cross-sectional scale development study, BMJ Open, 2019, 9 (12), pp. e033053: 1-e033053: 9