Age, burnout and physical and psychological work ability among nurses.
Background: The ageing of the US labour force highlights the need to examine older adults' physical and psychological ability to work, under varying levels of occupational burnout. Aims: To examine how age and burnout interact in predicting physical and psychological work ability. Methods: Using a cohort of actively working nurses, we assessed factors on the Work Ability Index at 12-month follow-up and determined how these were related to age and exhaustion-related burnout at baseline. Results: The study group consisted of 402 nurses aged 25-67 (mean = 41.7). Results indicated age by burnout interactions in which decrements in physical work ability with greater age were observed at all but the lowest level of burnout (1.5 SD below mean: β = -0.14, 95% CI -0.36, 0.07; 1 SD below: β = -0.23, 95% CI -0.39, -0.06; mean: β = -0.39, 95% CI -0.50, -0.29; 1 SD above: β = -0.56, 95% CI -0.70, -0.42; 1.5 SD above: β = -0.64, 95% CI -0.83, -0.46). In contrast, we observed decrements in psychological work ability with age at higher levels of burnout only (1 SD above: β = -0.20, 95% CI -0.35, -0.05; 1.5 SD above: β = -0.30, 95% CI -0.49, -0.11); at lower levels of burnout, older age was associated with improvements in this (1 SD below: β = 0.19, 95% CI 0.03, 0.35; 1.5 SD below: β = 0.29, 95% CI 0.08, 0.50). Conclusions: Findings indicated physical and psychological dimensions of work ability that differed by age and occupational burnout. This emphasizes the need for interventions to reduce burnout and to address age-related strengths and vulnerabilities relating to physical and psychological work ability.
Hatch, DJ; Freude, G; Martus, P; Rose, U; Müller, G; Potter, GG
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