Job demands and personal resources in their relations to indicators of job strain among nurses for older people

Authors

  • Klaus-Helmut Schmidt PhD,

    Professor, Corresponding author
    • Leibniz-Research Centre for Working, Environment and Human Factors, Technical University of Dortmund, Germany
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  • Stefan Diestel PhD

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    1. Leibniz-Research Centre for Working, Environment and Human Factors, Technical University of Dortmund, Germany
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Correspondence to K.-H. Schmidt: e-mail: schmidtkh@ifado.de

Abstract

Aims

To examine the role of two personal resources (active, problem-focused coping; self-efficacy beliefs) in the relation between job demands and strain.

Background

Evidence suggests that healthcare staff in general and nurses in particular, are at a high risk of suffering from high levels of job strain. In addition to often examined job-related resources (such as control and social support), personal resources are expected to moderate (i.e. buffer) the relation between job demands and indicators of strain, particularly when there is a functional match between the type of demands and resources.

Design

Cross-sectional questionnaire survey.

Method

A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted (February–April 2010) among staff members of three nursing homes of a municipal organization for residential elderly care located in an urban area of Western Germany. A total of 145 of 251 employees responded to the invitation to participate in the study (57·8% participation rate). Data were analysed by hierarchical moderated regression analyses.

Results

Increasing job demands (quantitative and qualitative workload) had adverse effects on emotional exhaustion, psychosomatic complaints, and turnover intentions, whereas nurses’ self-efficacy beliefs exerted beneficial effects on all outcomes. Furthermore, findings revealed that active, problem-focused coping interacts with job demands in the prediction of job strain.

Conclusion

Both research and practice should focus on a closer match between personal resources and job demands to prevent nurses from being strained.

Ancillary