Work-life balance behaviours cluster in work settings and relate to burnout and safety culture: a cross-sectional survey analysis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Healthcare is approaching a tipping point as burnout and dissatisfaction with work-life integration (WLI) in healthcare workers continue to increase. A scale evaluating common behaviours as actionable examples of WLI was introduced to measure work-life balance. OBJECTIVES: (1) Explore differences in WLI behaviours by role, specialty and other respondent demographics in a large healthcare system. (2) Evaluate the psychometric properties of the work-life climate scale, and the extent to which it acts like a climate, or group-level norm when used at the work setting level. (3) Explore associations between work-life climate and other healthcare climates including teamwork, safety and burnout. METHODS: Cross-sectional survey study completed in 2016 of US healthcare workers within a large academic healthcare system. RESULTS: 10 627 of 13 040 eligible healthcare workers across 440 work settings within seven entities of a large healthcare system (81% response rate) completed the routine safety culture survey. The overall work-life climate scale internal consistency was α=0.830. WLI varied significantly among healthcare worker role, length of time in specialty and work setting. Random effects analyses of variance for the work-life climate scale revealed significant between-work setting and within-work setting variance and intraclass correlations reflected clustering at the work setting level. T-tests of top versus bottom WLI quartile work settings revealed that positive work-life climate was associated with better teamwork and safety climates, as well as lower personal burnout and burnout climate (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Problems with WLI are common in healthcare workers and differ significantly based on position and time in specialty. Although typically thought of as an individual difference variable, WLI appears to operate as a climate, and is consistently associated with better safety culture norms.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Schwartz, SP; Adair, KC; Bae, J; Rehder, KJ; Shanafelt, TD; Profit, J; Sexton, JB

Published Date

  • February 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 28 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 142 - 150

PubMed ID

  • 30309912

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6365921

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2044-5423

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1136/bmjqs-2018-007933


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England