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The precarious resilience of aged care employees enrolled in an Australian online dementia course: a cross-sectional study of occupational health and well-being


Elliott, K-EJ and Stirling, CM and Johnstone, A and Tierney, LT and Sanderson, K and Robinson, AL and Scott, JL and Martin, AJ, The precarious resilience of aged care employees enrolled in an Australian online dementia course: a cross-sectional study of occupational health and well-being, Australasian Journal on Ageing Article online ahead of print. ISSN 1741-6612 (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2022 The Authors. Australasian Journal on Ageing published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of AJA Incí.

DOI: doi:10.1111/ajag.13134


Objectives: In Australia, temporary agency workers are a relatively small but enduring component of the residential aged care workforce. However, evidence from other countries suggests reliance on agency workers has a detrimental effect on the quality of care (QoC). We examined whether QoC outcomes differ for Australian residential aged care facilities (RACFs) based on their reliance on agency care staff.

Methods: A retrospective observational study was conducted using de-identified datasets obtained under the legal authority of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Regression analysis was conducted using data comprising 6221 RACF-year observations, across 5 years (2015-2019), from 1709 unique RACFs in Australia.

Results: After controlling for other determinants of QoC, RACFs with a greater reliance on agency care staff have poorer QoC outcomes, with significantly higher rates of complaints, missing persons, reportable assaults, hospitalisations, and accreditation flags.

Conclusion: Consistent with international evidence, we found that the QoC of Australian RACFs is sensitive to the reliance on agency staff in delivering direct care to residents. These findings illustrate the importance of workers' employment conditions, alongside other workforce characteristics, in driving the quality of residential aged care.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:aged, cross-sectional studies, dementia, job satisfaction, mental health, workplace
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Clinical psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Occupational health
UTAS Author:Elliott, K-EJ (Dr Kate-Ellen Elliott)
UTAS Author:Stirling, CM (Professor Christine Stirling)
UTAS Author:Johnstone, A (Miss Amber Johnstone)
UTAS Author:Tierney, LT (Mrs Laura Tierney)
UTAS Author:Sanderson, K (Associate Professor Kristy Sanderson)
UTAS Author:Robinson, AL (Professor Andrew Robinson)
UTAS Author:Scott, JL (Professor Jenn Scott)
UTAS Author:Martin, AJ (Dr A Martin)
ID Code:153494
Year Published:2022
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (1101865)
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2022-09-21
Last Modified:2023-01-13

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