Work stress and well-being in oncology settings: a multidisciplinary study of health care professionals

Martyn C. Jones, Mary Wells, Chuan Gao, Bernadette Cassidy, Jackie Davie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    55 Citations (Scopus)


    Objectives: Staff working in oncology report high levels of work-related stress. This arises partly
    from the nature of clinical work, including practitioner perceptions of high demand and low
    control or high effort and low reward. This comparative study investigated the correlates of
    work stress in a multidisciplinary group of staff and the associations between staff perceptions
    of the work environment, emotional distress, job satisfaction and work-based social support.
    Methods: This questionnaire study combined quantitative and qualitative assessment in a
    cohort sample of multidisciplinary staff (N= 85) working in a cancer centre in North East
    Scotland. Ethical approval was granted by the local Research Ethics Committee. This paper
    reports on the quantitative element of the study,
    Results: Response rate was 50.6% (N= 85). Older, female and nursing and support staff were
    more likely to participate. Support staff reported the lowest perceptions of control, job satisfaction
    and managerial support. Radiographers reported the highest levels of job satisfaction,
    co-worker and managerial support. Nurses perceived lower decision control and job satisfaction
    than allied health professionals or doctors. In general, perceptions of decisional control
    and reward were protective of job satisfaction, particularly when work demands were high.
    Co-worker support was associated with perceptions of reduced effort, greater reward and
    increased satisfaction. Managerial support was also associated with greater control beliefs.
    Overall, sickness absence exceeded the 5% rates seen in other National Health Service surveys,
    whereas turnover intention rates were similar.
    Conclusion: The development and introduction of multilevel strategies to reduce demand,
    improve control and support perceptions are warranted, particularly for support staff.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages8
    Early online date28 Sept 2011
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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