Working life and stress symptoms among caregivers in elderly care with formal and no formal competence

Authors


Maria Engström
University of Gävle
Kungsbäcksvägen 47
801 76 Gävle
Sweden
E-mail: maria.engstrom@hig.se

Abstract

engström m., skytt b. & nilsson a. (2011) Journal of Nursing Management19, 732–741
Working life and stress symptoms among caregivers in elderly care with formal and no formal competence

Aim  The aim of the present study was to describe and compare caregivers with formal and no formal competence on job satisfaction, psychosomatic health, structural and psychological empowerment and perceptions of care quality. A further aim was to study relationships among study variables.

Methods  A convenience sample of 572 caregivers in elderly care participated.

Results  Caregivers with no formal competence perceived higher workload, more communication obstacles, less competence, poorer sleep and more stress symptoms than did their colleagues. Linear regression analyses revealed that the factor self-determination was an explanatory variable of stress levels among caregivers with no formal competence, and self-determination and impact among caregivers with formal competence. Linear regression analysis revealed that different dimensions in structural and psychological empowerment explained the variance in staff job satisfaction, perceived stress symptoms and quality of care.

Conclusions  No formal competence seems to be a risk factor for psychosomatic health problems.

Implications for nursing management  Managers need to have a strategic plan for how to create a working environment for caregivers with no formal competence. Caregivers’ self-determination seems to be important for stress symptoms. Meaning, self-determination, impact and opportunities appear to be important for job satisfaction and competence, opportunities, resources and formal power for quality of care.

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