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Work-related quality of life of Ugandan healthcare workers


  • J.G. Opollo PhD, RN, MSN, MPH,

    Nursing Administrative Officer, Corresponding author
    1. Parkland Health & Hospital System, Dallas, TX, USA
    • Correspondence address: Dr Jackline G. Opollo, Nursing Administration, Parkland Health & Hospital System, 5201 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75235, USA; Tel: 2145908962; Fax: 214-590-6991; E-mail:

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  • J. Gray PhD, RN,

    Interim Dean, Associate Dean, Chair, George W. and Hazel M. Jay Professor
    1. Department of MSN Administration, Education, and PhD Programs, Arlington, TX, USA
    2. College of Nursing, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA
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  • L.A. Spies RN, MS, NP-C

    Coordinator, Family Nurse Practitioner, Program Missions Coordinator
    1. Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing, Dallas, TX, USA
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To describe perceived work-related quality of life of Ugandan healthcare workers. A secondary aim was to seek participant input on ways to improve work environments.


Poor patient outcomes, decreased employee motivation and decisions to leave the organization have been linked to poor work conditions. Interventions to correct healthcare worker shortage in developing countries require information about work quality of life.


Descriptive cross-sectional study conducted in health and educational settings in Uganda in July 2011. Participants completed the Biographical Information Scale demographic questionnaire and the validated 24-item Work-Related Quality of Life scale.


Sample included 146 healthcare workers employed in various settings. Participants reported poorer quality of work life on the work conditions, control at work and home–work interface subscales. Participants perceived stress at work to be low and experienced higher job career satisfaction. There was a significant relationship between work-related quality of life, gender and hours worked. Participants' suggestions to improve work life ranged from simple no-cost suggestions to more complex system level interventions.


Work-related quality of life was low in this convenience sample. Perceived stress at work was lower than expected, but may have been due to nurses' expectations of a normal work assignment. Predominantly women, the participants had significant caregiving responsibilities.

Nursing implications

Nurses must acquire a seat at the table where crucial decisions about nursing and its future are made. By advancing leadership skills, nurses can effectively advocate for organizational changes that address broad factors related to increasing job satisfaction, and retaining and attracting nurses.


Nurses can influence work quality of life individually and collectively by identifying workplace concerns, demanding safe work environments, fostering teamwork and enhancing professional growth.