Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Tara Lineweaver


This study examined the intercorrelations among nursing home healthcare providers’ stress, job distress, job satisfaction, and mood, as well as the relationships between these factors and patient outcomes. Additionally, this study investigated the impact Butler University’s Music First! program had on nurse job perceptions. A total of 63 nurses from 9 long-term care facilities completed questionnaires asking about stress, job distress, and global job satisfaction. Nurses’ depression, anxiety and hostility were also assessed with a 15-item Profile of Mood States questionnaire. Of these 63 nurses, 20 completed the questionnaires at three different time points during the implementation of the Music First! intervention. Patient outcomes included standardized assessments of agitation, psychiatric symptoms, cognitive functioning and depression, as well as documented instances of patient falls and reportable behaviors. Intercorrelations among nurse stress, job distress, job satisfaction, and affect ranged from r = -0.565 to r = 0.627. All correlations except one reached statistical significance. Similarly, correlations between patient outcomes and nurses’ job-related self-reports documented strong relationships between nurses’ affective responses to their jobs and patient outcomes. For example, the patients of nurses reporting greater stress at work were more agitated (r = 0.335) and exhibited more severe dementia (SLUMS r = -0.291), more severe psychiatric symptoms (r = 0.293), and more frequent reportable behaviors (r = 0.436) than patients of nurses reporting less stress. Finally, the Music First! program was associated with a near significant decrease in nurses’ job-related stress (p = 0.054). Although these results are correlational and cannot determine the direction of these relationships, these findings do suggest that improving nurses’ feelings about their jobs, improving patient behaviors or implementing programs designed to improve patients’ quality of life can have a positive impact on the nursing home environment.