Work-related resources and demands predicting the psychological well-being of staff in children's hospices

Andre Bedendo, Andrew Papworth, Jo Taylor, Bryony Beresford, Suzanne Mukherjee, Lorna K Fraser, Lucy Ziegler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: This study assessed the work-related resources and demands experienced by children's hospice staff to help identify staff support systems and organizational practices that offer the most potential to prevent staff burnout and enhance well-being at work.

METHODS: The relationships between individual and organizational characteristics, work-related resources and demands, and burnout and work engagement outcomes experienced by children's hospice staff were explored using two surveys: the Children's Hospice Staff survey, completed by UK children's hospice staff, and the Children's Hospice Organisation and Management survey, completed by the Heads of Care. We used structural equation modeling to assess the relationships between the variables derived from the survey measures and to test a model underpinned by the Job Demands-Resource (JD-R) theory.

RESULTS: There were 583 staff responses from 32 hospices, and 414 participants provided valid data for burnout and work engagement outcome measures. Most participants were females (95.4%), aged 51-65 years old (31.3%), and had more than 15 years of experience in life-limiting conditions (29.7%). The average score for burnout was 32.5 (SD: 13.1), and the average score for work engagement was 7.5 (SD: 1.5). The structural model validity showed good fit. Demands significantly predicted burnout ( b = 4.65, p ≤ 0.001), and resources predicted work engagement ( b = 3.09, p ≤ 0.001). The interaction between resources and demands only predicted work engagement ( b = -0.31, p = 0.115). Burnout did not predict work engagement ( b = -0.09, p = 0.194).

SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: The results partly supported the JD-R model, with a clear association between resources and work engagement, even when the demands were considered. Demands were only directly associated with burnout. The findings also identified a set of the most relevant aspects related to resources and demands, which can be used to assess and improve staff psychological well-being in children's hospices in the UK.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalPalliative and Supportive Care
Early online date16 Nov 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Nov 2023

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