COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Nursing staff competence, work strain, stress and satisfaction in elderly care: a comparison of home-based care and nursing homes

Henna Hasson, Judith E Arnetz
Journal of Clinical Nursing 2008, 17 (4): 468-81
17331093

AIMS: The aims of this study were to: (1) compare older people care nursing staff's perceptions of their competence, work strain and work satisfaction in nursing homes and home-based care; and (2) to examine determinants of work satisfaction in both care settings.

BACKGROUND: The shift in older people care from hospitals to community-based facilities and home care has had implications for nursing practice. Lack of competence development, high levels of work strain and low levels of work satisfaction among nursing staff in both care settings have been associated with high turnover. Few studies have compared staff perceptions of their competence and work in nursing homes as opposed to home-based care.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey.

METHODS: Nursing staff perceptions of their competence, work strain, stress and satisfaction were measured by questionnaire in 2003 in two older people care organizations in Sweden. Comparisons of all outcome variables were made between care settings both within and between the two organizations. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine predictors of work satisfaction in home care and nursing homes respectively.

RESULTS: In general, staff in home-based care reported significantly less sufficient knowledge compared with staff in nursing homes. However, home care staff experienced significantly less physical and emotional strain compared with staff in nursing homes. Ratings of work-related exhaustion, mental energy and overall work satisfaction did not differ significantly between care settings. In both care settings, work-related exhaustion was the strongest (inverse) predictor of work satisfaction.

CONCLUSIONS: Future interventions should focus on counteracting work-related exhaustion and improving competence development to improve work satisfaction among older people care nursing staff in both care settings. Relevance to clinical practice. Work-related exhaustion and lack of competence development may have significant negative implications for work satisfaction among older people care nursing staff in both home care and nursing homes.

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