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Effects of co-worker ostracism ‘significant,’ researchers say


Photo: Axel Goehns/iStockphoto

Kuopio, Finland — Being excluded from social interactions on the job can have cascading negative effects on health and well-being, a recent study of Finnish health care workers shows.

A team led by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland looked at survey responses from a combined 569 health care managers and employees, including nurses, doctors and social workers. The survey asked about workplace ostracism, as well as stress, job satisfaction, perceived health, loneliness and self-esteem.

Findings link ostracism to increased stress, less job satisfaction and lower perceived health among the respondents. It was experienced most frequently by social workers (78.9%), followed by practical nurses (76.8%) and nurses (74.8%).

“The harmful effects of ostracism are significant both at individual and workplace level,” lead study author Sirpa Manninen, a doctoral researcher at the university, said in a press release. “Learning to identify and recognize ostracism as a specific phenomenon, and calling it out, is key. This will also make it easier to intervene and help workplaces build an atmosphere where ostracism is not tolerated.”

The study was published online in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

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