Comparing the Mental Wellbeing and Quality of Working Life among Nurses and Social Care Workers in the UK and Japan in Older Adults’ Care Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ruth D. Neill, Junko Wake, Mie Ohwa, Jill Manthorpe, Patricia Gillen, Paula Mc Fadden

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Abstract

This study explored and compared the psychological wellbeing, burnout, coping strategies and work-related quality of life amongst health and social care workers in older adults’ care homes and community settings during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom (UK) and Japan. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted in the UK (May–July 2021) and a postal survey conducted in Japan (September–October 2021). Participants recruited were health and social care professionals within nursing, social care and social work occupations working in care home or community settings in the UK and Japan during the pandemic. Data were analysed using SPSS. 1327 respondents across the UK and Japan completed the survey. Respondents’ psychological wellbeing was significantly lower in Japan compared to the UK (p ≤ 0.001). UK respondents had significantly higher personal burnout (p < 0.05) and work-related burnout (p < 0.05) while those in Japan had significantly higher client-related burnout (p < 0.001). The novelty of this study relates to exploring mental wellbeing and quality of working life in two culturally contrasting countries. The overall psychological wellbeing and work-related quality of life of staff who work with older adults in the UK and Japan during the COVID-19 pandemic were lower than the population norm. Greater support and flexible working conditions for this workforce are needed to reduce burnout by improving wellbeing and work-related quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-855
Number of pages13
JournalPsych
Volume4
Early online date1 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 1 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by Health and Social Care Research and Development Division of the Public Health Agency, Northern Ireland (COVID Rapid Response Funding Scheme COM/5603/20), the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC) and the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, with support from England’s National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce—PR-PRU-1217-21002.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • social care workforce
  • aged services
  • wellbeing
  • quality of working life

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