Factors in working conditions for staff associated with satisfaction of care among older persons receiving home care services
”Our study examines the association between older persons perception regarding satisfaction, treatment by staff, and sense of security in home care services (HCS), and factors in the working conditions of the HCS staff” says Anne-Marie Boström, docent at Karolinska Institutet, responsible for the study together with her research group. The results show strong associations between older persons' level of satisfaction with their care, and the level of satisfaction with working conditions reported.
”This indicates that it is possible to design interventions that not only have an impact on the staff, but also has effect on the older persons” Anne-Marie Boström continues.
Older persons in Sweden are increasingly encouraged to continue living at home (Aging in place) and, if necessary, be supported by HCS. Studies have examined whether the work environment of the staff has an impact on the experiences and well-being of older persons in residential care facilities, but few have examined such associations in HCS.
Studies also show that more older persons today are to a greater extent not satisfied with the treatment and respect shown by HCS staff than before. As the problem is identified, Anne-Marie Boström suggests now is the time to act.
There is a lack of knowledge regarding which specific factors make the staff feel a greater sense of job satisfaction, as well as having an effect on the older persons. Factors of importance for the HCS staff were group support, sense of mastery and job control. We need to develop and evaluate interventions that support the staff in dealing with these factors.
”We have just experienced a pandemic, that unfortunately revealed deficiencies in care for older people, and there is now a proposal for new legislation. But factors such as working conditions, which are of great consequence for the quality of care are not discussed” says Anne-Marie Boström.
The study was conducted through a survey about psychosocial working conditions directed at five HCS units in different municipalities in the county of Stockholm. The results were combined with the National Board of Health and Welfare user satisfaction survey from the same year (2018), with the same selection of municipalities – where the older persons answered questions about their overall satisfaction with HCS.
”We are now performing new data collection where the same survey again will be directed to HCS staff, and then combined with the National Board of Health and Welfare user satisfaction survey for older persons 2022” Anne-Marie Boström continues. Almost all the same municipalities are participating, although one Stockholm area have declined and have been replaced by a Småland municipality.
”Now we can decide which interventions to test and evaluate” Anne-Marie Boström concludes. ”The important thing is that we are able to acknowledge the association, and that improvements for the staff also can improve care for the elderly.”