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Aging Ment Health. 2011 Aug;15(6):712-9. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2011.556602.

The role of holistic care culture in mitigating burnout and enhancing engagement: a study among elderly service workers in Hong Kong.

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  • 1Department of Social Work and Social Administration, Centre on Behavioral Health, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.



Elderly service work is a labor intensive and emotion demanding occupation. Workers in this field are prone to burnout, a form of emotional exhaustion at work. While their job well-being is associated with a number of job demands, little research has been done in exploring job resources to promote their well-being. Holistic care culture (HCC) was proposed as an organizational culture of holistic caring. This study explored the role of HCC in predicting job well-being and moderating the impact of perceived stress on job well-being.


A large-scale questionnaire survey was conducted among 992 elderly service workers of a major social service organization in Hong Kong, with a 93% response rate. Participants completed a standardized self-report questionnaire.


Structural equation modeling found HCC negatively predicted burnout (β = -0.32, p < 0.01) and positively predicted engagement (β = 0.36, p < 0.01). HCC showed significant moderating on the relationship between perceived stress and job well-being in expected directions. The model explained 53.7% and 35.8% of variance in burnout and engagement.


Findings from this study provides supportive evidence for HCC as a moderator to ameliorate burnout and facilitate engagement among elderly service workers. Further studies of rigorous design on HCC are recommended. Implication of this study for organizational practice was discussed.

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