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Team social cohesion, professionalism, and patient-centeredness: Gendered care work, with special reference to elderly care – a mixed methods study
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
2017 (English)In: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, E-ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 17, no 381Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Healthcare organisations are facing large demands in recruiting employees with adequatecompetency to care for the increasing numbers of elderly. High degrees of turnover and dissatisfaction withworking conditions are common. The gendered notion of care work as ‘women’s work’, in combination with lowsalaries and status, may contribute to negative work experiences. There is abundant information about the negativeaspects of elderly care health services, but little is known about positive aspects of this work. The study aim was toinvestigate work satisfaction from a gender perspective among Swedish registered nurses, physiotherapists, andoccupational therapists, focusing specifically on healthcare services for the elderly.

Methods: A mixed methods approach was adopted in which we combined statistics and open-ended responses froma national survey with qualitative research interviews with healthcare professionals in elderly care organisations. Thesurvey was administered to a random sample of 1578 registered nurses, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists.Qualitative interviews with 17 professionals were conducted in six elderly care facilities. Qualitative and quantitativecontent analyses, chi2 and constructivist grounded theory were used to analyse the data.

Results: There was a statistically significant difference in overall work satisfaction between those who worked in elderlycare and those who did not (64 and 74,4% respectively, p <0.001). Nine themes were derived from open-endedresponses in the questionnaire. The qualitative interviews revealed four prominent storylines: ‘Team social cohesion’,‘Career development and autonomy’, ‘Client-centeredness’, and ‘Invisible and ignored power structures’.

Conclusions: The results show the complexity of elderly care work and describe several aspects that are important forwork satisfaction among health professionals. The results reveal that work satisfaction is dependent on socialinterrelations and cohesion in the work team, in possibilities to use humour and to have fun together, and in the abilityto work as professionals to provide client-centered elderly care. Power relations such as gendered hierarchies were lessvisible or even ignored aspects of work satisfaction. The storylines are clearly linked to the two central discourses ofprofessionalism and gender equality

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 17, no 381
Keyword [en]
Work satisfaction, Elderly care, Nurses, Occupational therapists, Physiotherapists, Gender, Mixed methods, Clients, Power relations, Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
genusvetenskap
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-135755DOI: DOI 10.1186/s12913-017-2326-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-135755DiVA: diva2:1105816
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, dnr. 2011- 1140
Available from: 2017-06-05 Created: 2017-06-05 Last updated: 2017-06-07

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Keisu, Britt-Inger
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Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS)Department of SociologyDepartment of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation
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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
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