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Keywords:

  • care homes;
  • job satisfaction;
  • job stress;
  • morale;
  • older people;
  • quality of care

Abstract

The aim in the present study, which was carried out in one nursing home for older people, was to determine the feasibility of working with care workers and very frail service users to investigate links between the levels of work satisfaction and stress of the staff, and the quality of care and morale of the residents. Most of the 44 care staff (70%) and 22 cognitively intact residents (82%) participated willingly in completing rating scales through self-completion questionnaire or by interview. Well-validated scales were used to measure job satisfaction, work stress, organisational commitment, perceived quality of care, and morale and mental health. The findings revealed a staff group with a fairly high level of job dissatisfaction and stress, who were, nevertheless, very committed to the nursing home. The morale of the residents was good although the residents rated the home atmosphere lower than the staff did. Significant correlations emerged, in the expected direction, between satisfaction, commitment, stress and quality of care perceived by staff. The correlations between home atmosphere perceived by residents, and their morale and mental health were low; further investigation is needed with a larger sample. This feasibility study supports the need for further research using a case-study approach in a small number of homes because of the labour-intensive nature of the data collection and the importance of triangulating data from many sources.