The influence of the merger of two major medical centres on the emotional well-being of nurses was investigated by use of a questionnaire on emotional distress, perception of threat, self-efficacy and emotional reactivity. Evaluations were carried out 1 month prior to the merger at the official announcement, and again half a year after the merger took place. Before the merger, threat perception was higher in the transferring nurses, but the difference was of borderline significance (P = 0.05). There was a significant positive correlation between threat perception and both emotional reactivity and emotional distress, and a significant negative correlation between self-efficacy and both threat perception and emotional distress (P < 0.001 for all). After the merger, the transferring nurses showed more emotional distress (P = 0.009). There was a significant positive correlation between threat perception, emotional distress and negative outcome variables such as burnout and stress (P < 0.001), and a significant negative correlation between threat perception and positive outcome variables such as growth (P < 0.01).This study identifies some personal characteristics that can affect the way nurses deal with hospital mergers and need to be considered during organizational changes in order to maintain job satisfaction.
- Emotional reactivity