Ann Work Expo Health. 2022 Jun 23:wxac039. doi: 10.1093/annweh/wxac039. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Perceived quantitative demands at work have been associated with poor mental and physical health, long-term sickness absence and subsequent early retirement. Identifying modifiable determinants of perceived quantitative demands at different levels of the organization is key to developing effective interventions. The aim of the study was to identify determinants of perceived quantitative demands at work and examine the extent to which they occur at different levels of the eldercare organisation (i.e. the worker, ward and nursing home levels).
METHODS: We collected data on 383 eldercare workers in 95 wards at 20 nursing homes in Denmark using workplace observations and questionnaires to workers and their managers. Perceived quantitative work demands were assessed using two items from the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire, II. We identified contributions to overall variability from the three organisational levels using variance components analysis, and examined associations between determinants at these three levels and quantitative demands.
RESULTS: Almost all (90.9%) the variability in perceived quantitative demands occurred between eldercare workers (within wards). Determinants significantly associated with lower quantitative demands were: having a job as a care helper, working fixed evening shifts, being born outside Denmark, having lower influence at work, higher quality of leadership and lower emotional demands. None of the investigated physical factors (e.g. resident handlings, push/pull tasks, step-count) were associated with perceived quantitative demands.
CONCLUSION: We found that the variability in perceived quantitative demands occurred primarily between eldercare workers within wards. Our study indicates that psychosocial work environment factors are the strongest modifiable determinants of perceived quantitative demands in eldercare, while organisational factors related to job position, shift, and resident-staff ratio also play a role. Interventions should test if changes in these determinants can reduce perceived quantitative demands at work in eldercare.
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