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Dual-duty caregivers: formal and informal care roles and their implications among nursing workers

Background: A nursing worker who is also a caregiver of an elderly family member, plays a dual-duty role, which is challenging and requires knowledge, skills and professional experience. The interaction between family and work entails a spillover between the two, and affects employees and healthcare organizations. Objectives: The current exploration study examined differences between nursing employees who hold a dual role and those who do not, while identifying implications of the dual-duty role and the correlations between them at the individual level that might negatively affect the organization. Methods: A cross-sectional quantitative study was conducted, including 158 staff members from nursing homes in Israel: 41.8% were also informal caregivers for elderly family members, 62.5% were women, and 79.2% were Arabs. A self-administered questionnaire was used to measure workload, family-work conflict, absenteeism, tardiness, and intentions to leave the organization. Participants with a dual role tended to be older, had more children, had worked for longer period, and held part-time positions compared to those who do not. Results: Preliminary results showed no significant differences between the two groups. Pearson correlations revealed that workload and family-work conflict were positively associated with leaving intentions (dual-role caregivers: r=.30, p<.05, r=.45, p<.01; others: r=.61, p<.01, r=.34, p<.05). Among the dual-role group, workload was related to absenteeism (r=.27, p<.05), and family-work conflict was related to absenteeism and tardiness (r=.24, r=.29, p<.05). Among the other group, only family-work conflict was associated with tardiness (r=.33, p< .01). Conclusions: As negative consequences were indicated for workers with a dual-duty role, additional research in the healthcare sector should be conducted, leading to intervention programs for helping employees and organizations deal with the dual role and serving as the basis of policies and procedures. Key messages Nursing workers often suffer from workload and family-work conflict. Workload and family-work conflict among dual-duty caregivers might result in withdrawal behaviors (tardiness and absenteeism).

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Oxford university press
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European Journal Of Public Health
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