Conflict Between Nursing Home Staff and Residents’ Families – Does It Increase Burnout?

Source: Kathleen Abrahamson, J. Jill Suitor, Karl Pillemer, Journal of Aging and Health, Vol. 21, No. 6, 2009
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From the abstract:
Objective: In this study, the authors examine the influence of conflict between nursing home staff and family members of residents on staff burnout. Method: Data were collected from interviews with a representative sample of 655 nursing home nurses and nursing assistants. Hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling. Results: Results indicate that conflict with family members increases staff burnout and decreases staff satisfaction. Staff and family conflict increases when staff members feel they do not have enough time to complete required tasks. Level of conflict decreases when staff perceive that family members have care expectations that are similar to their own. Interestingly, staff who have personal experience as family caregivers are more likely to report conflict with family members of residents, a result that necessitates further study. Discussion: Staff burnout and dissatisfaction affects both individuals and organizations. Policy that addresses staff and family interaction can have an important place in the design and delivery of long-term care.

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