Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies


Holistic Health

First Advisor

Carol Geisler


Holistic Health Studies


Hospital nurses experience stress specific to their occupation, due to shift work, intense workload, and unsupportive management. Current literature suggests coloring offers a holistic approach to stress management, but most workplace wellness programs focus primarily on physical health. The purpose of our research is to describe the effect of coloring on perceived stress levels of hospital nurses. In this empirical, quasi-experimental pilot study, four female participants completed Perceived Stress Scale surveys (PSS-10), stress meter ratings (using visual analog scales) and responded to a brief journal prompt following individual coloring sessions over the course of two weeks. Through quantitative and qualitative data analysis, we discovered coloring has short-term stress management benefits; however, we could not confirm long-term stress reduction over the study period. We conclude coloring is an easy and cost- effective short-term stress management intervention for hospital nurses that needs more research.

Future research should include a longitudinal study to investigate long-term effects of coloring as a holistic stress management technique for workplace wellness.