Changes in work conditions and well-being among healthcare professionals in long-term care settings in the Netherlands during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal study

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Healthcare professionals working in long-term care facilities reported heavy job demands and a lack of job resources during the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. However, how job demands and resources in these facilities changed during the pandemic, and how possible changes affected professionals' work-related well-being, remains unclear. Thus, we explored changes in job demands and resources in the face of surging COVID-19 infection rates, and investigated associations of these changes with changes in burnout and work engagement, among healthcare professionals working in long-term care facilities in the Netherlands. METHODS: This longitudinal study was conducted with healthcare professionals working in five long-term care facilities in the Netherlands. Data were collected in early and late 2021, when infection rates in long-term care facilities were low and high (mean, 29.1 and 275.4 infections/day), respectively. In total, 173 healthcare professionals completed the validated Job Demands and Resources Questionnaire, Copenhagen Burnout Inventory, and Utrecht Work Engagement Scale at both timepoints. We performed paired-samples t tests to examine changes in job demands and resources, and fixed-effects linear regression analyses to examine associations of within-person changes in job demands and resources with those in burnout and work engagement. RESULTS: Healthcare professionals perceived increased workloads, associated with increased burnout and decreased work engagement during the study period. Within-person increases in perceived collegial support were associated positively with work engagement and negatively with burnout symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Healthcare professionals in long-term care facilities perceived increased workloads in the wake of surging infection rates during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in increased burnout and decreased work engagement. These changes in burnout and work engagement were also perceived in response to declining collegial support. Efforts to protect the work-related well-being of healthcare professionals working in long-term care facilities in the pandemic context that focus on workload reduction and the promotion of collegial support may be most beneficial.

Original languageEnglish
Article number59
JournalHuman Resources for Health
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding
This study was funded by Erasmus Trustfund (97035. 2020.101.284/238/RB) and Stichting Warande. Erasmus Trustfund had no role in the design of the study and collection, analysis, interpretation of the data and in writing the manuscript. Stichting Warande facilitated the data collection process, yet had no role in the design, analysis, or interpretation of the data.

Publisher Copyright: © 2023. The Author(s).

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