Quality of Life Among Midlife, Female Navy Nurses


Name: Nancy Puksta

Rank: CDR, USN

Organization: The Catholic University of America

Performance Site: Navy Nurse Corps Duty Stations throughout the World

Year Published: 1994

Abstract Status: Final


The broad purpose of this study was to identify factors, which could assist Nurse Corps leaders in developing strategies to promote and maintain health among Nurse Corps officers. The specific aims of this study were to develop a psychosocial profile of the midlife, female Navy Nurse Corps officer by identifying stressful life events and daily hassles, ascertaining what coping and social support resources were used by this population. A second aim was to determine the relationship between quality of life to stressful life events and daily hassles, coping resources, and social support among this population.Data were collected from a voluntary sample of active duty, midlife female Navy nurse corps officers between the ages of 40-60. Questionnaires were mailed to 450 Navy Nurses stationed throughout the world. Of these 450 questionnaires, 254 Navy female nurses completed questionnaires.Quality of life items which respondents were most satisfied with included their physical independence, children's education, potential to live a long life, and their standard of living. Quality of items respondents were least satisfied with included the possibility of not having a job, the level of stress and energy in their lives, their personal intimacy needs, and their leisure time activities. Four variables were found to have a significant relationship with quality of life. Daily hassles, mixed emotion coping, and total life events were negatively correlated with quality of life. Problem-focused coping had a significant positive correlation. Daily hassles, such as not having enough time to do things, troubling thoughts about the future, too many responsibilities or interruptions, concerns about retirement, health of family members, etc., were reported as the most significant predictors of quality of life, followed by mixed emotion coping.The results obtained in this study have some implications for developing strategies to ensure the health and well-being of Navy nurses. With information obtained from this study, Nurse Corps leaders may be able to implement programs, which provide additional support to women who are mobilized or who are challenged by the numerous transitions common in this population. By identifying stressful life events, daily hassles, and coping responses in relation to quality of life, individual nurses will also benefit by conducting reassessment of personal goals, coping strategies, and support systems.Issues such as increased participation in operational assignments, decreased military personnel resources, budgetary constraints, and the possible restructuring of the military system will have significant impact among all military personnel. Among the service members who will be affected by these changes are midlife women. Identifying the specific needs of midlife women in the Navy Nurse Corps will provide insight into complex issue of balancing the need of the military with individual needs of women who serve their country.FINAL REPORT UNAVAILABLE