Nurses belonging to equity-seeking groups, including people of colour, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, and people identifying as 2SLGBTQIA+, face barriers to opportunities and resources, and might more frequently experience workplace discrimination. Whether these experiences are associated with adverse mental health outcomes is unknown. This study examines factors associated with workplace discrimination and relationships between discrimination and mental health outcomes, using survey data from nurses in British Columbia, Canada. Using logistic regression, I investigated relationships between workplace discrimination and symptoms of mental disorders, adjusting for personal and work/role characteristics. Of 4545 respondents, 12.5% reported experiencing discrimination, rising to between 19.6% and 24.4% among those who identify with equity-seeking groups. Overall, 45.8% of nurses reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, 28.1% reported symptoms of anxiety, and 31.1% reported symptoms of depression. Nurses reporting workplace discrimination were more than twice as likely to report symptoms of mental disorders, with similar results across mental disorders. Experiences of discrimination in the workplace are common for nurses in BC, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression are prevalent in this population. Worker psychological health and safety is often treated as an individual issue and responsibility, but we must instead consider how it is related to working conditions both embedded in, and reflecting, societal inequalities.
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Thesis advisor: Lavergne, M. Ruth
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