Health and safety matters! Associations between organizational practices and personal support workers’ life and work stress in Ontario, Canada Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • BACKGROUND: The home and community care sector is one of the fastest growing sectors globally and most prominently in mature industrialized countries. Personal support workers (PSWs) are the largest occupational group in the sector. This paper focuses on the emotional health of PSWs working in the home and community care sector in Ontario, Canada. The purpose of this paper is to present evidence on the associations between PSWs' life and work stress and organizational practices of full-time and guaranteed hours, and PSWs' perceptions of support at work and preference for hours. METHODS: Data come from our 2015 survey of 1543 PSWs. Dependent variables are life and work stress. Independent variables are: objective organizational practices of full-time and guaranteed hours, and subjective organizational practices of perceived support at work, and preferred hours of work. Descriptive statistics, correlations and ordinary least square regression analyses with collinearity tests are conducted. RESULTS: Organizational practices of employing PSWs in full-time or guaranteed hours are not associated with their life and work stress. However, those who perceive support from their organizations are also the ones reporting lower life and work stress. In addition, those PSWs perceiving support from their supervisor report lower work stress. PSWs would like to work in their preferred hours, and those who prefer to work more hours report lower life and work stress, and conversely, those who prefer to work less hours report life and work stress. CONCLUSION: For PSWs in home and community care, perceived support from their organizations and supervisors, and employment in preferred hours are important factors related to their life and work stress.

publication date

  • December 2017