Development of a Stress Scale for Faculty: Preliminary Findings & Next Steps

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2020

Authors

Nandy, Karabi
White, Annesha
Atanda, Adenike
Wettergreen, Sara

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Abstract

Purpose: Faculty face multiple stressors balancing numerous responsibilities. Although validated instruments (e.g. Perceived Stress Scale) exist, there is none specifically for pharmacy faculty. The objective was to develop and validate a stress scale for pharmacy faculty. Methods: As prompted from discussions during faculty meetings and independent focus groups, a stress scale was developed to support faculty wellness initiatives. A literature search was conducted using PubMed, 2007-2017, key search terms: 'faculty stress and burnout', 'faculty job satisfaction', 'pharmacy faculty stress', and 'stress survey'. Over 40 articles including 20 stress scales were reviewed. Themes and 150 scale items were categorized. The survey was then administered via Qualtrics to select faculty across various institutions to evaluate the instrument's psychometric properties. Results: Respondents representing a wide range of backgrounds (e.g. age, rank, position) provided feedback on question wording, format, and preference (one year or month reference). Content and face validity were confirmed. Four constructs characterized faculty stress: Support systems (spirituality, social support, coping strategies), Mental health (emotional reactivity/health, personality traits), Physical health (energy, wellness activities), and Satisfaction (compensation, work-life balance). The final survey was refined to consist of 10 items. Conclusions: Results of this study demonstrate the reliability and validity of a new scale for evaluating faculty stress. Next steps include survey administration to faculty at multiple pharmacy schools allowing for comparisons of rankings based on demographics. Future research will include developing a modified version for other health disciplines to create strategies to reduce stress as indicators of targeted wellness initiatives.

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