The influence of intrapersonal characteristics of individual nurses on their work performance : a predictive correlational study in a selected province in South Africa.
Background Conflicting reports on the quality of nursing care highlighted the need to understand the influence of nurses’ intrapersonal characteristics on their work performance and caring behaviours. Aim The aim of the research was to describe the influence of selected intrapersonal characteristics of individual nurses’ on their work performance and caring behaviours. Objectives The research questions of the study were 1) What is the distribution and influence of demographic variables on nurses’ work performance and patients’ perceptions of caring behaviours? 2) What is the distribution of selected intrapersonal characteristics among nurses working in clinical settings in hospitals? 3) What is the self-assessment of their work performance by nurses working in clinical settings in hospitals’? 4) How do patients perceive the caring behaviours of nurses in clinical settings in hospitals? 5) Is there a relationship between nurses' intrapersonal characteristics and their self-assessment of work performance and caring behaviours of nurses as perceived by patients? 6) What model can be developed to test the influence of selected intrapersonal characteristics on work performance and caring behaviours of nurses? 7) What predictions can be made about the relationship between intrapersonal characteristics with the work performance and caring behaviours of nurses? Method A quantitative, cross-sectional survey, predictive, correlation model-testing design with multi-layered and stratified sampling was used. The population was professional nurses and patients in medical and surgical wards in public and private hospitals. A questionnaire including the 6-DSNP, NPVS-R, STEM, CSES, EQ-short and the Kanungo Job Involvement instruments was completed by nurses. Patients completed the CBI instrument. Descriptive and inferential statistics were generated. Results The professional values of nurses were the only selected intrapersonal characteristic with a statistically significant positive relationship with nurses’ work performance and caring behaviours. While some of the other selected intrapersonal characteristics had statistically significant relationships, effect sizes were small, making them not of practical importance. If nurses have high professional values (NPVS-R), NPVS-R as predictor for work performance (6-DNSP) is two to three times that of any other predictor that can be added to the equation at the 10% level of significance. Conclusion and Recommendations Professional values influence the work performance and caring behaviours of nurses. Recommendations are provided for individual nurses, practice, education, management and research.