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  • Public defence: 2018-12-14 10:00 Forum Humanum, Jönköping
    Lundgren, Dan
    Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Institute of Gerontology.
    Leadership, psychosocial work environment, and satisfaction with elder care among care recipients: Analysing their associations and the structural differences between nursing homes and home care2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background

    Municipal elder care has become increasingly multifaceted, and the quest for quality is a continuing discussion in Swedish elder care. In recent decades, municipalities have prioritized older adults with severe needs. There is also a trend of more elderly individuals receiving care in their own homes. The number of persons 80 years and older will increase by approximately 75 percent between 2015 and 2035. During the same period, the numbers of nursing assistants are likely to decrease. Furthermore, health and social care services have the highest rates of sick leave in Sweden, and the psychosocial work environment plays an important role in reducing sick leave. Perceived support from an organization, leaders and colleagues has been shown to have a positive effect on nursing assistants’ perceptions of the psychosocial work environment in elder care settings. Leadership characteristics or attributes and behaviours have been associated with a healthy work environment. Thus, knowledge regarding the associations between leadership, the psychosocial work environment, and recipient satisfaction in elder care is insufficient.

    Aims

    The overall aim of this thesis was to explore and describe the associations between leadership, the psychosocial work environment, and recipient satisfaction in municipal elder care, the changes over time in psychosocial work environment, and the difference between nursing homes and home care.

    Design and methods

    This thesis is based on four cross-sectional studies (I-IV) and one study based on repeated cross-sectional analyses (V). Data from three different surveys were used: the Developmental Leadership Questionnaire (DLQ), the Questionnaire for Psychological and Social Factors at Work (QPS), and a recipient satisfaction survey (based on a National Board of Health and Welfare recipient satisfaction survey). Study I analyses first-line managers’ assessments of their leadership and nursing assistants’ assessments of their first-line managers. Study II analyses the associations between leadership and the psychosocial work environment, study III the associations between psychosocial work environment and recipient satisfaction, and study IV encompasses all three levels, leadership and the psychosocial work environment, and recipient satisfaction. Study V describes changes in the psychosocial work environment between 2007 and 2015.

    Results

    There are structural differences between nursing homes and home care in the assessments of leadership, the psychosocial work environment, and satisfaction among older people. Linear trends for the period 2007-2015 demonstrate a decline in control at work in both nursing homes and home care and positive trends for stimulus from the work itself. The results also show that nursing assistants in nursing homes rate their psychosocial work environment higher than nursing assistants in home care. Older adults receiving home care report higher satisfaction than those receiving care in nursing homes. In contrast, nursing assistants in home care rate their first-line managers’ leadership and their perceived psychosocial work environment lower than those working in nursing homes. Process-related factors, for example, the association between leadership and the psychosocial work environment, showed that interpersonal factors, such as support from superiors, empowering leadership, human resource primacy, and direct leadership, may impact nursing assistants’ psychosocial work environment in both nursing homes and home care. A better psychosocial work environment among nursing assistants was associated with higher satisfaction among recipients of elder care, except for the recipient satisfaction item staff knowledge, which had negative associations with the psychosocial work environment.

    Conclusions and implications for practice

    To influence nursing assistants’ performance, to increase recipient satisfaction and to increase quality in eldercare in the long term, appropriate leadership and a healthy psychosocial work environment are necessary. To make the most out of the available resources and to meet future challenges (among others) in elder care require organizational attention so that leadership and psychosocial work environments continue to develop in both nursing homes and home care. Therefore, structural differences in elder care must be considered to create a better psychosocial work environment for nursing assistants and, in turn, to create higher care satisfaction for those who are receiving elder care in two different social contexts.