Subjective socioeconomic status as a predictor of long-term care staff burnout and positive caregiving experiences

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20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The potentially negative consequences associated with providing care to older adults are well documented. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in the positive aspects associated with caregiving. Both aspects are believed to represent a continuum of caregiving experiences. Long-term care (LTC) staff members often report high levels of burnout associated with their work. Whereas several job characteristics and objective indicators of socioeconomic status have been identified as potential predictors of LTC staff caregiving experiences, the role of subjective socioeconomic status (i.e. one's view of one's place in society) has not yet been evaluated. Methods: A cross-sectional design of 122 LTC staff members. LTC staff completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory and the Positive Aspects of Caregiving questionnaire. They also completed questions about job characteristics (i.e. staff-to-resident ratio, number of hours worked per day, and years of experience working with older adults), objective sociodemographic variables (i.e. level of education, professional affiliation), and subjective socioeconomic indicator (i.e. MacArthur Scale of Subjective Social Status). Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to identify the unique contribution of job characteristics, objective socioeconomic status, and subjective socioeconomic status to LTC staff caregiving experiences. Results: Subjective socioeconomic status remained a significant predictor of LTC staff experience even once job characteristics and objective indicators of socioeconomic status were entered into the model. Those who placed themselves higher on the subjective social ladder reported higher levels of positive caregiving experiences and lower levels of burnout. Conclusions: Building a sense of community identity and improving one's status within the community might result in lower levels of burnout and better caregiving experiences among LTC staff.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-537
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Psychogeriatrics
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2008

Keywords

  • Burnout
  • Formal caregiving
  • Job satisfaction
  • Nursing
  • Patient care

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