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Organizational Change and the Health and Well-Being of Home Care Workers

Author

Listed:
  • Margaret Denton
  • Isik Urla Zeytinoglu
  • Sharon Davies

Abstract

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 variables. 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 workers' health.

Suggested Citation

  • Margaret Denton & Isik Urla Zeytinoglu & Sharon Davies, 2003. "Organizational Change and the Health and Well-Being of Home Care Workers," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 110, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:110
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    File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/sedap/p/sedap110.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bachmann, Max O. & Myers, Jonathan E., 1995. "Influences on sick building syndrome symptoms in three buildings," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 245-251, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Margaret Denton & Isik Urla Zeytinoglu & Sharon Davies & Danielle Hunter, 2005. "Where Have All The Home Care Workers Gone?," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 393, McMaster University.
    2. Zeytinoglu, Isik U. & Denton, Margaret & Davies, Sharon & Plenderleith, Jennifer Millen, 2009. "Casualized employment and turnover intention: Home care workers in Ontario, Canada," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 258-268, August.
    3. Margaret Denton & Isik Urla Zeytinoglu & Sharon Davies & Danielle Hunter, 2005. "Where Have All The Home Care Workers Gone?," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 128, McMaster University.
    4. Isik U. Zeytinoglu & Margaret Denton & Sharon Davies & M. Bianca Seaton & Jennifer Millen, 2009. "Visiting and Office Home Care Workers’ Occupational Health: An Analysis of Workplace Flexibility and Worker Insecurity Measures Associated with Emotional and Physical Health," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 429, McMaster University.
    5. Isik U. Zeytinoglu & Margaret Denton & Sharon Davies & M. Bianca Seaton & Jennifer Millen, 2008. "Visiting and Office Home Care Workers’ Occupational Health: An Analysis of Workplace Flexibility and Worker Insecurity Measures Associated with Emotional and Physical Health," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 234, McMaster University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health care restructuring; home care workers; occupational stress;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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