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Work demands, social support, and job satisfaction in eating disorder inpatient settings: A qualitative study

Authors

  • Amanda Davey,

    Corresponding author
    1. Loughborough University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders (LUCRED), Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK
    • Correspondence: Amanda Davey, Loughborough University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders (LUCRED), School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK. Email: a.davey@lboro.ac.uk

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  • Jon Arcelus,

    1. Loughborough University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders (LUCRED), Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK
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  • Fehmidah Munir

    1. Centre for Global Health and Human Development, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK
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  • Amanda Davey, BSc (Hons).
  • Jon Arcelus, FRCPsych, PhD.
  • Fehmidah Munir, PhD.

Abstract

In this qualitative study, we aimed to investigate work demands experienced by health-care workers in an adult eating disorder inpatient service. We also aimed to investigate the use of social support and job satisfaction in this setting. Twelve health-care workers from an eating disorder inpatient ward, including nurses, health-care support workers, and occupational therapists, participated in semistructured interviews. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. A number of work demands were discussed relating to therapeutic care, physical care, and organizational demands. Most participants discussed social support at work as being highly valuable, formally and informally, whereas external support was viewed as less important. Despite the challenges of caring for patients with eating disorders, the majority of participants reported good patient-related job satisfaction, but poor job satisfaction in relation to organizational factors. Eating disorder inpatient care is complex and demanding, necessitating effective teamwork, communication, and support systems among health-care workers. Interventions should be developed to target barriers to care, including time constraints, administrative workload, and insufficient allocation of staff.

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