Acceleration in the care of older adults: New demands as predictors of employee burnout and engagement

Bettina Kubicek, Christian Korunka, Heike Ulferts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: This paper introduces the concept of acceleration-related demands in the care of older adults. It examines these new demands and their relation to cognitive, emotional, and physical job demands and to employee well-being. Background: Various changes in the healthcare systems of Western societies pose new demands for healthcare professionals' careers and jobs. In particular today's societal changes give rise to acceleration-related demands, which manifest themselves in work intensification and in increasing requirements to handle new technical equipment and to update one's job-related knowledge. It is, therefore, of interest to investigate the effects of these new demands on the well-being of employees. Design: Survey. Method: Between March-June 2010 the survey was conducted among healthcare professionals involved in care of older adults in Austria. A total of 1498 employees provided data on cognitive, emotional, and physical job demands and on acceleration-related demands. The outcome variables were the core dimensions of burnout (emotional exhaustion and depersonalization) and engagement (vigour and dedication). Results: Hierarchical regression analyses show that acceleration-related demands explain additional variance for exhaustion, depersonalization, vigour, and dedication when controlling for cognitive, emotional, and physical demands. Furthermore, acceleration-related demands associated with increasing requirements to update one's knowledge are related to positive outcomes (vigour and dedication). Acceleration-related demands associated with an increasing work pace are related to negative outcomes such as emotional exhaustion. Conclusion: Results illustrate that new demands resulting from social acceleration generate potential challenges for on-the-job learning and potential risks to employees' health and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1525-1538
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Volume69
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

Keywords

  • Burnout
  • Care of older adults
  • Engagement
  • Job demands
  • Nursing
  • Social acceleration

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