The precarious resilience of aged care employees enrolled in an Australian online dementia course: A cross-sectional study of occupational health and well-being

Australas J Ageing. 2022 Sep 9. doi: 10.1111/ajag.13134. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Australian aged care workforce surveys offer limited information about those who engage in online dementia education regarding their occupational health and well-being. A salutogenic approach was applied to an aged care context to quantitatively assess both positive and negative aspects of health at work to inform the development of workplace interventions tailored to those interested in self-development.

METHODS: Physical, psychological and occupational health were measured in an online cross-sectional survey of general health, chronic conditions, psychological distress, positive and negative affect, job satisfaction, access to workplace amenities and turnover intentions of aged care workers undertaking an online dementia course in October 2014.

RESULTS: Participants (N = 662) rated their general physical health as good and a minority experienced chronic conditions such as obesity. Overall, workers had average levels of positive and negative affect and low distress. However, 25% were likely to have a mental health condition. While most were employed on a permanent basis (80%) and reported moderate job satisfaction, 18% were likely to leave their job. There were some gaps in workplace amenities to support health and well-being: for example, 13% reported no access to lunch break areas.

CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest precarious resilience in aged care workers enrolled in an Australian online dementia course. Workplace interventions that focus on preventative health strategies are required to address the health risks associated with higher than national averages of obesity and mental health, and reduce exposure of workers to physical and psychological harms.

PMID:36086881 | DOI:10.1111/ajag.13134

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