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Job strain: a cross-sectional survey of dementia care specialists and other staff in Swedish home care services

Authors Sandberg L, Borell L, Edvardsson D, Rosenberg L, Boström AM

Received 29 October 2017

Accepted for publication 18 January 2018

Published 22 May 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 255—266

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S155467

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Ms Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Linda Sandberg,1 Lena Borell,1 David Edvardsson,2,3 Lena Rosenberg,1 Anne-Marie Boström1,4,5

1Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS), Division of Occupational Therapy, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; 2School of Nursing and Midwifery, La Trobe University, Heidelberg, VIC, Australia; 3Department of Nursing, Umea University, Umea, Sweden; 4Theme Aging, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden; 5Department of Nursing, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Haugesund, Norway

Introduction: An increasing number of older persons worldwide live at home with various functional limitations such as dementia. So, home care staff meet older persons with extensive, complex needs. The staff’s well-being is crucial because it can affect the quality of their work, although literature on job strain among home care staff is limited.
Aim: To describe perceived job strain among home care staff and to examine correlations between job strain, personal factors, and organizational factors.
Methods: The study applied a cross-sectional survey design. Participants were dementia care specialists who work in home care (n=34) and other home care staff who are not specialized in dementia care (n=35). The Strain in Dementia Care Scale (SDCS) and Creative Climate Questionnaire instruments and demographic variables were used. Descriptive and inferential statistics (including regression modeling) were applied. The regional ethical review board approved the study.
Results: Home care staff perceived job strain – particularly because they could not provide what they perceived to be necessary care. Dementia care specialists ranked job strain higher (m=5.71) than other staff members (m=4.71; p=0.04). Job strain (for total score and for all five SDCS factors) correlated with being a dementia care specialist. Correlations also occurred between job strain for SDCS factor 2 (difficulties understanding and interpreting) and not having Swedish as first language and SDCS factor 5 (lack of recognition) and stagnated organizational climate.
Conclusion: The study indicates that home care staff and particularly dementia care specialists perceived high job strain. Future studies are needed to confirm or reject findings from this study.

Keywords: aging-in-place, home care services, work situation, language, organization, stress

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