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Title: Caring for older adults with dementia : managing work pressures
Author: Alderson, Zoe
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 4062
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2014
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Background Research suggests that healthcare professionals are an occupational group at significant risk of the negative consequences of work stress (Kirkcaldy & Martin, 2000). Front-line staff working with older adults with dementia often work for long hours in stressful, challenging environments (Deutschman, 2000). Much research has shown a link between interventions utilising mindfulness based approaches and reduced stress, however, it is unclear whether staff intuitively use techniques akin to mindfulness to avoid or reduce stress. Aim The study aimed to explore the experiences of managing work pressures in front-line NHS staff caring for older adults with dementia. It also aimed to explore the processes by which staff maintain a sense of wellbeing and to generate a theory by which to understand these. Method Ten staff from three inpatient dementia wards took part in qualitative interviews which were then analysed using constructivist grounded theory methods (Charmaz, 2000). Findings A theoretical framework was -generated which highlights the role of work pressures and work enjoymenUsatisfaction on responses to work pressure. Multiple work pressures exist which can be viewed as either structural or interpersonal in nature. Work satisfaction and enjoyment can influence responses to work pressures and may lead to the adoption of more adaptive strategies such mindfulness and compassion. Conclusions Staff employ a range of naturally occurring techniques which are both mindful and compassionate in nature. There are a number of intuitive ways of handling extremely high pressures and these tend to be related to interpersonal factors which act as key natural protective factors in being able to deal with such pressures in this environment. However, it seems that these natural strengths can be enhanced through structural factors (such as regular breaks and adequate resources). It may be possible to make structural changes at an organisation level to enhance the natural resilience of staff.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available