Organizational Change and the Health and Well-Being of Home Care Workers
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Objective: The objective of this research is to study the impact of
health care restructuring and other organizational changes on the
mental and physical health of home care workers.
Methods: This study covers 11 agencies and 7 union locals. We
interviewed 59 key decision-makers, 171 workers in 29 focus
groups, and surveyed 1,311 workers (70% response rate).
Qualitative data are analyzed for themes and quantitative data
analysis consists of descriptive statistics and associations between
Results: The restructuring of the health care sector and organizational
change have increased stress levels and musculoskeletal disorders of
home care workers. Physical health problems among this workforce
are much higher than the comparable group in the Canadian
population. Restructuring and organizational change are significant
factors in decreasing job satisfaction, while increasing absenteeism
rates, fear of job loss, and propensity to leave.
Conclusions: Occupational health problems experienced by these
workers are preventable. It is important to acknowledge that
occupational stress can result from incremental changes in the work and
external work environment, affecting physical health, job dissatisfaction,
absenteeism, and propensity to leave. Sufficient government funding to
provide services, avoiding continuous changes in the work environment,
and creating supportive work environments can positively contribute to