National Emergency Department Stress, Coping and Intention to Leave Survey: DESTRESS

What is the impact of chronic work demands and acute stress(ors) experienced by ED doctors and nurses in Australia on health and performance over time?

Grant ID: EMLE-224R37-2022-ELDER

Project Summary

The emergency department (ED) is a stressful workplace. The stressful work environment has resulted in high levels of psychological distress with some using mal-adaptive coping strategies. High staff turnover is evident in some EDs. To guide the development of strategies for clinicians, health services, policy makers, and emergency colleges, this research will provide a national picture regarding the impact of stressors on health and performance.

The well-being of staff is a priority for Emergency Medicine and Nursing colleges in Australia. Research reports have emerged highlighting concerns with post-traumatic stress, sleeping problems, cardiovascular disease and increasing rates of suicide among healthcare staff. This research is critical to address such concerning trends.

This multi-disciplinary research collaborative is new, consisting of expert clinical and academic leaders from emergency nursing and medicine coming together to provide a robust approach to understand, from a national perspective, where opportunities exist to enhance clinician wellbeing and the effectiveness of local, state, or national practice or policy measures, through the longitudinal design.

This research will provide a comprehensive Queensland, as well as a national understanding of the impact of stressors on the health and performance of ED staff. When applied longitudinally, the questionnaire can be used to evaluate the outcomes of interventions and policies that seek to promote positive coping strategies for ED clinicians.


Amount Awarded


Grant Scheme


Principal Investigator:
Dr Elizabeth Elder

Co Investigators:
Prof Julia Crilly OAM
Prof Paula Brough
A/Prof Jaimi Greenslade
Ms Ellyse McCormick
A/Prof Julia Morphet
Prof Peter Cameron
Dr Hayley Frieslich


Collaborating Institutions

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