May 12, 2022

Effect of ‘serenity lounges’ on nurse stress, burnout during COVID-19

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

This study by nurse researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles evaluates the effect of “serenity lounges” (ie, dedicated rooms where nurses can take breaks to relax and rejuvenate) and massage chairs on nurse anxiety, stress, and burnout, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The researchers analyzed 67 paired responses to surveys filled out by nurses before and after use of a serenity lounge between November 2020 and May 2021.

Compared with nurses who used the massage chairs for less than 10 minutes, those who used them for 10 to 20 minutes had significantly lower levels of emotional exhaustion, weariness, and anxiety. Anxiety was reduced further by nurses who used the chairs for longer than 20 minutes.

After successful implementation of a pilot serenity lounge, the project was expanded to 10 more units in the hospital, and the surveys are ongoing. The serenity lounges can accommodate two to three nurses and other staff at a time. Most use them during the second half of their lunch breaks.

The results highlight the importance of providing a holistic approach to reduce nurses’ feelings of anxiety, stress, and burnout, particularly during challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic, the researchers say.

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