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Team social cohesion, professionalism, and patient-centeredness: Gendered care work, with special reference to elderly care – a mixed methods study

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      Abstract

      BackgroundHealthcare organisations are facing large demands in recruiting employees with adequate competency to care for the increasing numbers of elderly. High degrees of turnover and dissatisfaction with working conditions are common. The gendered notion of care work as ‘women’s work’, in combination with low salaries and status, may contribute to negative work experiences. There is abundant information about the negative aspects of elderly care health services, but little is known about positive aspects of this work. The study aim was to investigate work satisfaction from a gender perspective among Swedish registered nurses, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists, focusing specifically on healthcare services for the elderly.MethodsA mixed methods approach was adopted in which we combined statistics and open-ended responses from a national survey with qualitative research interviews with healthcare professionals in elderly care organisations. The survey was administered to a random sample of 1578 registered nurses, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists. Qualitative interviews with 17 professionals were conducted in six elderly care facilities. Qualitative and quantitative content analyses, chi2 and constructivist grounded theory were used to analyse the data.ResultsThere was a statistically significant difference in overall work satisfaction between those who worked in elderly care and those who did not (64 and 74,4% respectively, p <0.001). Nine themes were derived from open-ended responses in the questionnaire. The qualitative interviews revealed four prominent storylines: ‘Team social cohesion’, ‘Career development and autonomy’, ‘Client-centeredness’, and ‘Invisible and ignored power structures’.ConclusionsThe results show the complexity of elderly care work and describe several aspects that are important for work satisfaction among health professionals. The results reveal that work satisfaction is dependent on social interrelations and cohesion in the work team, in possibilities to use humour and to have fun together, and in the ability to work as professionals to provide client-centered elderly care. Power relations such as gendered hierarchies were less visible or even ignored aspects of work satisfaction. The storylines are clearly linked to the two central discourses of professionalism and gender equality.

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      Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: concepts, procedures and measures to achieve trustworthiness.

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 1034 3451, GRID grid.12650.30, , Umeå Centre for Gender Studies, Umeå University, ; SE-90187 Umeå, Sweden
            [2 ]ISNI 0000 0001 1034 3451, GRID grid.12650.30, Public Health and Clinical Medicine; Epidemiology and Global Health, , Umeå University, ; SE-90187 Umeå, Sweden
            [3 ]ISNI 0000 0001 1034 3451, GRID grid.12650.30, , Sociology, Umeå University, ; Umeå, Sweden
            [4 ]ISNI 0000 0001 1034 3451, GRID grid.12650.30, , Community Medicine and Rehabilitation; Physiotherapy, Umeå University, ; SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
            Contributors
            +49907869219 , ann.ohman@umu.se
            Journal
            BMC Health Serv Res
            BMC Health Serv Res
            BMC Health Services Research
            BioMed Central (London )
            1472-6963
            2 June 2017
            2 June 2017
            2017
            : 17
            5457615
            2326
            10.1186/s12913-017-2326-9
            © The Author(s). 2017

            Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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            © The Author(s) 2017

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