A supportive context as an occupational stress management strategy: views from eThekwini District diagnostic radiographers


  • N Gqweta Witwatersrand Unuiversity
  • N Gam DUT




Coping strategies, diagnostic radiography, autonomy, occupational stress, secure occupational environment


Background. Occupational stress negatively impacts radiographers’ wellbeing in ways that undermine their coping strategies and affects occupational functioning. The purpose of this study was to investigate coping strategies used and perceived necessary by public sector diagnostic radiographers in a selected district of KwaZulu-Natal. 

Methods. A quantitative approach, with a descriptive cross sectional design, was used to understand stress management strategies used by radiographers within the eThekwini district health sector. The research tool of management standards indicator developed by Health and Safety Executive in the United Kingdom (UK) was adapted. The questionnaire included demographic data and open-ended questions in order to meet the selected regional requirements. A random stratified sample of public health institutions within the eThekwini District of KwaZulu-Natal was conducted to select research sites. A sample of 101 respondents was selected following ethical approval processes. 

Results. Majority (65.1%) of the respondents denied availability of employer provided resources to support them through occupational stress. Almost half (48.8%) stated that they engaged in physical exercise to manage stress. A supportive occupational environment, and good interpersonal relations, in terms of the analysis of replies to the open-ended questions, were identified as occupational stress alleviating resources.

Conclusion. Whilst some employers provided occupational stress relieving resources these competed for time with work-related pressures. Radiographers need secure and supportive working environments with healthy interpersonal relationships to cope with occupational stress.






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