Effect of ethnicity, country of origin and workplace on health behaviors and health perception among nurses: Cross-sectional study

Ilya Kagan*, Arnona Ziv, Carmit Rubin, Havi Murad, Liora Valinsky, Oren Asman, Nili Tabak, Rachel Wilf Miron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The study aimed to (1) examine health behaviors and perceived health among nurses; (2) analyze the effect of nurses’ personal and work characteristics on these variables; and (3) explore the relationship between health behaviors and nurses’ health perception. Design and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among nurses working in health care organizations (HCOs) across Israel. An email with the online questionnaire was sent to nurses working in 19 HCOs across Israel during September–December 2018. Findings: Of 18,120 nurses employed, 3542 completed the survey. Mean age was 44.8 years, 91% were female), 64.6% were hospital nurses and 52.8% were clinical staff nurses. Two-thirds of nurses did not achieve the physical activity (PA) target; the majority reported unfavorable eating habits; 66% slept less than 7 h at night and 15% smoke. Hospital nurses working night shifts reported the least favorable health behaviors. Non-Jewish nurses had less eating habits compared with Jewish nurses. Nurses born in the Former Soviet Union perceived their health as significantly worse than that of the other respondents. Binomial logistic regression demonstrated that, age, Israeli origin, achieving the PA target, having food breaks during work, consuming a Mediterranean diet, sleeping at least 7 h, undergoing screening tests as recommended, and not smoking predicted better health perception among nurses. Conclusions: Nurses, particularly hospital-based, non-Jewish and immigrants from the Soviet Union, demonstrated unfavorable health behaviors that may negatively affect their wellbeing and health perception. Clinical relevance: Interventions aimed at improving the health promoting mindset of nurses have the potential to improve their health and wellbeing and to enable them to become role models and health educators for patients and their families.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
StatePublished - Sep 2022


FundersFunder number
Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research81/2016


    • community healthcare
    • cross-sectional study
    • health behavior
    • health promotion
    • hospital
    • nurses
    • perceived health


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