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Stress and coping of Australian community-based aged and dementia care employees


Elliott, Kate-Ellen and Sanderson, Kristy and Martin, Angela and Robinson, AL and Scott, JL, Stress and coping of Australian community-based aged and dementia care employees, 4th International Wellbeing at Work Conference, 31 May, 2016, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2016) [Conference Extract]

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This research was funded jointly by both Grant-Research Enhancement (REGS) and an NHMRC Fellowship, ARC Dementia Research Development.

Objectives: Understanding stress and coping of the dementia care workforce is of particular importance due to the connection between job stress and turnover. Most research on stress of the aged and dementia care workforce focuses on employees based in residential setting as opposed to employees working in the community setting, who enter the homes of clients to deliver services. This paper reports findings from an assessment of stress and coping factors in the community-based workforce to inform the development of tailored workforce development interventions for one of the fastest growing sectors worldwide.

Methods: An online cross sectional study was conducted in Australia from October 2014 to March 2015 on aged and dementia care employee adjustment to job demands. The research reported here focuses on community-based dementia care employee’s response to occupational health psychology questionnaires including the Job satisfaction Scale, Kessler 10, Positive and Negative Affect and Satisfaction with Life Scale.

Results: Community-based aged and dementia care employees (N=137) completed self-report questionnaires. Participants had a mean age of 50 years (SD=9.04), mostly female (98.5%) and were employed on a permanent parttime basis (72%). Most indicated their general health was good (44%) or very good (38%). Mean body weight was 80kg and height 157cms (Body Mass Index = 32). A minority (22%) of the sample had any chronic condition including arthritis (23%), asthma (15%), back pain (12%), anxiety (13%) or depression (12%). Group mean scores on questionnaires showed on average employees were highly satisfied with their jobs and experienced high levels of positive affect at work. Most employees on average experienced some psychological distress, but were likely to be well (81%), whereas a minority had clinical levels of distress (19%) and had average levels of satisfaction with life.

Conclusion: Community-based dementia care employees have positive perceptions of their general health, job satisfaction and affect at work. Despite these positive perceptions, employees are also coping with some indices of poor health such as obesity, chronic conditions, and psychological distress. Workforce development interventions should consider including healthy lifestyle and stress management components that assist employees to build resilience to cope with job demands.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Community dementia care worker health and wellbeing
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Provision of health and support services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Elliott, Kate-Ellen (Dr Kate-Ellen Elliott)
UTAS Author:Sanderson, Kristy (Associate Professor Kristy Sanderson)
UTAS Author:Martin, Angela (Professor Angela Martin)
UTAS Author:Robinson, AL (Professor Andrew Robinson)
UTAS Author:Scott, JL (Professor Jenn Scott)
ID Code:109505
Year Published:2016
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (1101865)
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2016-06-20
Last Modified:2016-06-21
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