Insecurity and shiftwork as characteristics of negative work environment: psychosocial and behavioural mediators

Authors


M. Elovainio: e-mail: marko.elovainio@thl.fi

Abstract

elovainio m., kuusio h., aalto a.-m., sinervo t. & heponiemi t. (2010) Insecurity and shiftwork as characteristics of negative work environment: psychosocial and behavioural mediators. Journal of Advanced Nursing66(5), 1080–1091.

Abstract

Title. Insecurity and shiftwork as characteristics of negative work environment: psychosocial and behavioural mediators.

Aim.  This paper is a report of an investigation into whether insecure work contract and shiftwork are associated with reduced wellbeing indicators, such as psychological distress, low job involvement and low work ability.

Background.  Insecure work contracts and shiftwork have repeatedly been found to contribute to the development and continuation of negative outcomes among healthcare professionals. In particular, nurses are generally considered as being at high risk of work-related stress and reduced wellbeing.

Methods.  Cross-sectional survey data from the Finnish Health Care Professional Study collected in 2006 were used. The random sample of Finnish Registered Nurses comprised 2100 women and men aged 22–65 years. Information on the work contract and shiftwork were self-reported. The wellbeing indicators used were psychological distress (GHQ-12), work ability and job involvement. Psychosocial work characteristics were measured using the Job Content Questionnaire and an organizational justice scale.

Results.  Variance and linear regression analyses showed that insecure work contract was associated with lower work ability and job involvement. Shiftwork was related to psychological distress, low job involvement and low work ability. Support for a mediating role of job demands and job control and a moderating role of relational justice was obtained.

Conclusion.  To reduce the negative effects of environmental stressors, such as insecure work contract and shiftwork, it may be better to focus on improving psychosocial work characteristics than on nurses’ health-related behaviour.

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