Macquarie University
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Emotional and psychological wellbeing in home care workers

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posted on 2022-03-28, 10:06 authored by Julie Bajic Smith
Employee turnover rates in the age care sector are significantly higher than in other sectors. However, most aged care related research is conducted in residential settings and little is known about the home care setting. Using mixed methods approach, this thesis aims to explore the risks contributing to emotional and psychological wellbeing of the home care worker (HCWs) and is supported with four separate studies. In one studies. In study one, the organisational factors of home care are explored from management perspective in a qualitative study of eleven interviews with home care office managers. Study two was to determine the reported prevalence of mental illness in clients and determine if there was a presence of emotional contagion between clients and HCW's. Study three is a quantitative study examining how positive and negative emotions influence HCW's and their overall wellbeing. Study four is a mixed-method study designed to establish the role of self-efficacy in home care workers and design a self efficacy measure specific working in aged care. This research applied comprehensive thematic and content analysis of finding to examine major categories and key themes in the qualitative component, and statistical analysis with regression for the quantitative studies. HCW's report high prevalence of mental illness in clients and high susceptibility of HCW's catching negative emotions from others, Further studies found common self-disclosure of presence or history of mental illness in the workforce and personal experience of supporting someone with mental illness. These findings suggests the need for improved training HCW in interpersonal interactions, reduce self-disclosure during service delivery and better access to internal and external support from employee mental health.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. General introduction -- Chapter 2. Paper 1 - Exploring psychological risks in home care -- Chapter 3. Paper 2 - Emotional contagion in home care 'It works both ways' -- Chapter 4. Paper 3 - The role of emotional contagion burnout -- Chapter 5. Paper 4 - Self-efficacy in age care workers designing a measure -- Chapter 6 - General discussion.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 177-181

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Business and Economics , Department of Marketing and Management

Department, Centre or School

Department of Marketing and Management

Year of Award



Copyright Julie Bajic Smith 2016. Copyright disclaimer:






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