BMC Health Serv Res. 2022 Nov 26;22(1):1418. doi: 10.1186/s12913-022-08699-4.
BACKGROUND: Home care staff (HCS) provide essential service to enable older adults to age in place. However, unreasonable demands in the work environment to deliver a safe, effective service with high quality has a negative impact on the individual employee’s well-being and the care provided to the older adults. The psychosocial work environment is associated with employees´ well-being, although, knowledge regarding which individual and organisational factors that contribute to job strain for HCS is limited. These factors need to be identified to develop targeted interventions and create sustainable work situations for HCS. This study aimed to explore how HCS´s perceived job strain is associated with, and to what extent can be explained by, individual and organisational factors of the psychosocial work environment and psychosomatic health.
METHOD: An explorative cross-sectional questionnaire survey design was used in a large Swedish county. Five home care agencies with a total of 481 HCS were asked to respond to a questionnaire regarding their perceived level of job strain (Strain in Dementia Care Scale), psychosocial work environment (QPSNordic34+), and psychosomatic health (Satisfaction with Work Questionnaire). Multiple linear regression (MLR) analyses were conducted to explore the association between job strain and individual and organisational factors.
RESULTS: In total, 226 (46%) HCS responded to the questionnaire. Both individual and organisational factors were significant predictors of job strain and explained a variance ranging between 39 to 51% (p = 0.001). The organisational factor job demand and the individual factor feeling worried and restless was most frequently represented in these MRL models. A higher job strain was also associated with adverse outcomes regarding leadership, organisational culture and climate, and control at work.
CONCLUSION: This study indicates that there is an intertwined complexity of individual and organisational factors that are associated with the HCS´s perception of job strain. Implementation of new multidimensional work strategies, such as a reablement approach, could support the development of efficient strategies for HCS and reduce the level of job strain. Policy changes for the provision of home care are also needed to support the development of a sustainable and healthy psychosocial work environment.
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