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Self-care Habits of Nurses and the Perception of Their Body Image

Atkins, Haley E. BSN, RN; Campoli, Molly BSN, RN; Havens, Taylor R. BSN, RN; Abraham, Samuel P. DHA, MS, RN; Gillum, Deborah PhD, MSN, RN, CNE

doi: 10.1097/HCM.0000000000000218
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The aim of this qualitative, phenomenological study was to explore the self-care habits of nurses in the hospital setting and how these habits influenced the perception of body image. The nursing profession often requires the nurse to place the health of patients before their own. Very little information is found in the literature regarding the self-care habits of nurses. The data were collected through in-depth interviews with 12 participants who worked as hospital nurses in northern Indiana. The analysis revealed 6 themes in self-care among nurses and how they viewed their bodies. In conclusion, being conscious about body image was the most frequently occurring theme and was referenced more than 4 times the other themes. The findings of this study may be useful in identifying ways to improve the shortcomings of nurses' self-care habits to improve body image and promote healthier lifestyles.

Author Affiliations: Intermediate Care Center (Ms Atkins) and Medical Oncology (Ms Campoli), Elkhart General Hospital; and Ortho-Neuro Unit, Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center (Ms Havens); and Bethel College (Dr Abraham) and Bethel College School of Nursing (Dr Gillum), Mishawaka, Indiana.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Samuel P. Abraham, DHA, MS, RN, Bethel College, 1001 Bethel Cir, Mishawaka, IN 46545 (Abrahams383@att.net).

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