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Quality of work life and turnover intention in primary healthcare organisations : a cross-sectional study of registered nurses in Saudi Arabia

Almalki, Mohammed Jubran (2012) Quality of work life and turnover intention in primary healthcare organisations : a cross-sectional study of registered nurses in Saudi Arabia. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to improve the retention of primary healthcare (PHC) nurses through exploring and assessing their quality of work life (QWL) and turnover intention. Design and methods: A cross-sectional survey design was used in this study. Data were collected using a questionnaire comprising four sections (Brooks’ survey of Quality of Nursing Work Life [QNWL], Anticipated Turnover Intention, open-ended questions and demographic characteristics). A convenience sample was recruited from 143 PHC centres in Jazan, Saudi Arabia. A response rate of 87% (n = 508/585) was achieved. The SPSS v17 for Windows and NVivo 8 were used for analysis purposes. Procedures and tests used in this study to analyse the quantitative data were descriptive statistics, t-test, ANOVA, General Linear Model (GLM) univariate analysis, standard multiple regression, and hierarchical multiple regression. Qualitative data obtained from responses to the open-ended questions were analysed using the NVivo 8. Findings: Quantitative findings suggested that PHC nurses were dissatisfied with their work life. Respondents’ scores ranged between 45 and 218 (mean = 139.45), which is lower than the average total score on Brooks’ Survey (147). Major influencing factors were classified under four dimensions. First, work life/home life factors: unsuitable working hours, lack of facilities for nurses, inability to balance work with family needs and inadequacy of vacations’ policy. Second, work design factors: high workload, insufficient workforce numbers, lack of autonomy and undertaking many non-nursing tasks. Third, work context factors: management practices, lack of development opportunities, and inappropriate working environment in terms of the level of security, patient care supplies and unavailability of recreation room. Finally, work world factors: negative public image of nursing, and inadequate payment. More positively, nurses were notably satisfied with their co-workers. Conversely, 40.4% (n = 205) of the respondents indicated that they intended to leave their current employment. The relationships between QWL and demographic variables of gender, age, marital status, dependent children, dependent adults, nationality, ethnicity, nursing tenure, organisational tenure, positional tenure, and payment per month were significant (p < .05). The eta squared test for these demographics indicates a small to medium effect size of the variation in QWL scores. Using the GLM univariate analysis, education level was also significantly related to the QWL (p < .05). The relationships between turnover intention and demographic variables including gender, age, marital status, dependent children, education level, nursing tenure, organisational tenure, positional tenure, and payment per month were significant (p < .05). The eta squared test for these demographics indicates a small to moderate effect size of the variation in the turnover intention scores. Using the GLM univariate analysis, the dependent adults’ variable was also significantly related to turnover intention (p < .05). Turnover intention was significantly related to QWL. Using standard multiple regression, 26% of the variance in turnover intention was explained by the QWL F (4,491), 43.71, p < .001, with R² = .263. Further analysis using hierarchical multiple regression found that the total variance explained by the model as a whole (demographics and QWL) was 32.1%, F (17.433) = 12.04, p < .001. QWL explained an additional 19% of the variance in turnover intention, after controlling for demographic variables, R squared change =.19, F change (4, 433) = 30.190, p < .001. The work context variable makes the strongest unique contribution (-.387) to explain the turnover intention, followed by the work design dimension (-.112). The qualitative findings reaffirmed the quantitative findings in terms of QWL and turnover intention. However, the home life/work life and work world dimensions were of great important to both QWL and turnover intention. The qualitative findings revealed a number of new factors that were not included in the survey questionnaire. These included being away from family, lack of family support, social and cultural aspects, accommodation facilities, transportation, building and infrastructure of PHC, nature of work, job instability, privacy at work, patients and community, and distance between home and workplace. Conclusion: Creating and maintaining a healthy work life for PHC nurses is very important to improve their work satisfaction, reduce turnover, enhance productivity and improve nursing care outcomes. Improving these factors could lead to a higher QWL and increase retention rates and therefore reinforcing the stabilisation of the nursing workforce. Significance of the research: Many countries are examining strategies to attract and retain the health care workforce, particularly nurses. This study identified factors that influence the QWL of PHC nurses as well as their turnover intention. It also determined the significant relationship between QWL and turnover intention. In addition, the present study tested Brooks’ survey of QNWL on PHC nurses for the first time. The qualitative findings of this study revealed a number of new variables regarding QWL and turnover intention of PHC nurses. These variables could be used to improve current survey instruments or to develop new research surveys. The study findings could be also used to develop and appropriately implement plans to improve QWL. This may help to enhance the home and work environments of PHC nurses, improve individual and organisational performance, and increase nurses’ commitment. This study contributes to the existing body of research knowledge by presenting new data and findings from a different country and healthcare system. It is the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia, especially in the field of PHC. It has examined the relationship between QWL and turnover intention of PHC nurses for the first time using nursing instruments. The study also offers a fresh explanation (new framework) of the relationship between QWL and turnover intention among PHC nurses, which could be used or tested by researchers in other settings. Implications for further research: Review of the extant literature reveals little in-depth research on the PHC workforce, especially in terms of QWL and organisational turnover in developing countries. Further research is required to develop a QWL tool for PHC nurses, taking into consideration the findings of the current study along with the local culture. Moreover, the revised theoretical framework of the current study could be tested in further research in other regions, countries or healthcare systems in order to identify its ability to predict the level of PHC nurses’ QWL and their intention to leave. There is a need to conduct longitudinal research on PHC organisations to gain an in-depth understanding of the determents of and changes in QWL and turnover intention of PHC nurses at various points of time. An intervention study is required to improve QWL and retention among PHC nurses using the findings of the current study. This would help to assess the impact of such strategies on reducing turnover of PHC nurses. Focusing on the location of the current study, it would be valuable to conduct another study in five years’ time to examine the percentage of actual turnover among PHC nurses compared with the reported turnover intention in the current study. Further in-depth research would also be useful to assess the impact of the local culture on the perception of expatriate nurses towards their QWL and their turnover intention. A comparative study is required between PHC centres and hospitals as well as the public and private health sector agencies in terms of QWL and turnover intention of nursing personnel. Findings may differ from sector to sector according to variations in health systems, working environments and the case mix of patients.

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ID Code: 50766
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Fitzgerald, Gerard& Clark, Michele
Keywords: health care system, health care workforce, intention to leave, nursing, primary health care (PHC), quality of nursing work life (QNWL), quality of work life (QWL), registered nurses, Saudi Arabia, turnover, turnover intention
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 05 Jun 2012 16:24
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2012 16:24

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