Practice Environment, Work Characteristics and Levels of Burnout as Predictors of Nurse Reported Job Outcomes, Quality of Care and Patient Adverse Events: A Study across Residential Aged Care Services


To understand how to create a stabile workforce achieving excellent quality of care and patient safety, associations between practice environments and nurse and patient outcomes have been widely studied in acute and psychiatric care hospitals. Knowing residential aged care services are challenged to tackle complex patients’ needs within certain working conditions, to what extent do nurses perceive their practice environment in geriatric care? In a cross-sectional survey, a sample of 709 registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and nurse aides employed in 25 residential aged care services completed a structured questionnaire composed of various validated instruments measuring nurse practice environment factors, nurse work characteristics, burnout, nurse reported job outcomes, quality and patient adverse events. Associations between variables across residential aged care services were examined using multilevel modelling techniques. Associations were identified between practice environment factors, work characteristics, burnout dimensions, and reported outcome variables across residential aged care services. Multiple multilevel models showed independent variables (nursing management at the unit level, workload, decision latitude, social capital, emotional exhaustion and depersonalization) as important predictors of nurse reported outcome (job satisfaction, turnover intensions), quality of care (at the unit, the last shift, and in the service within the last year) and patient adverse events (patient and family complaints, patient falls, pulmonary and urinary tract infections, and medications errors). Results suggested the importance of nurse practice environment factors, nurse work characteristics and perception of burnout on nurse and patient outcomes across their nurse practice environment. Challenging the complex care of a vulnerable and frail population executives, physicians, nursing leaders as well as nurses in their nurse practice environment shared responsibility to create working conditions achieving excellent quality and patient safety.

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Bogaert, P. , Dilles, T. , Wouters, K. and Rompaey, B. (2014) Practice Environment, Work Characteristics and Levels of Burnout as Predictors of Nurse Reported Job Outcomes, Quality of Care and Patient Adverse Events: A Study across Residential Aged Care Services. Open Journal of Nursing, 4, 343-355. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2014.45040.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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