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Int J Health Serv. 2002;32(2):327-57.

Job stress and job dissatisfaction of home care workers in the context of health care restructuring.

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McMaster Centre for Gerontological Studies, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Changes in the social organization of home care work due to health care restructuring have affected the job stress and job dissatisfaction of home care workers. This article reports the results of a survey of 892 employees from three nonprofit home care agencies in a medium-sized city in Ontario, Canada. Survey results are complemented by data from 16 focus groups with 99 employees. For the purposes of this study, home care workers include both office workers (managers, supervisors, coordinators, office support staff, and case managers) and visiting workers (nurses, therapists, and visiting homemakers). Focus group participants indicated that health care restructuring has resulted in organizational change, budget cuts, heavier workloads, job insecurity, loss of organizational support, loss of peer support, and loss of time to provide emotional laboring, or the "caring" aspects of home care work. Analyses of survey data show that organizational change, fear of job loss, heavy workloads, and lack of organizational and peer support lead to increased job stress and decreased levels of job satisfaction.

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