Work engagement in cancer care: The power of co-worker and supervisor support

Poulsen, Michael G., Khan, Asaduzzaman, Poulsen, Emma E., Khan, Shanchita R. and Poulsen, Anne A. (2015) Work engagement in cancer care: The power of co-worker and supervisor support. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 21 134-138. doi:10.1016/j.ejon.2015.09.003

Author Poulsen, Michael G.
Khan, Asaduzzaman
Poulsen, Emma E.
Khan, Shanchita R.
Poulsen, Anne A.
Title Work engagement in cancer care: The power of co-worker and supervisor support
Journal name European Journal of Oncology Nursing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1462-3889
Publication date 2015-04-28
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ejon.2015.09.003
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 21
Start page 134
End page 138
Total pages 5
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Churchill Livingstone
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Co-worker and supervisor support can provide knowledge, advice and expertise which may improve motivation, confidence and skills. This exploratory study aimed to examine the association of co-worker and supervisor support, and other socio-demographic and practice variables with work engagement for cancer workers.

The study surveyed 573 cancer workers in Queensland (response rate 56%). Study participants completed surveys containing demographics and psychosocial questionnaires measuring work engagement, co-worker and supervisor support. Of these respondents, a total of 553 responded to the items measuring work engagement and this forms the basis for the present analyses. Oncology nurses represented the largest professional group (37%) followed by radiation therapists (22%). About 54% of the workforce was aged >35 years and 81% were female. Multiple regression analysis was performed to identify explanatory variables independently associated with work engagement for cancer workers.

After adjusting for the effects of other factors, co-worker and supervisor support were both significantly associated with work engagement. Having 16 years or more experience, being directly involved in patient care, having children and not being a shift worker were positively associated with work engagement. Annual absenteeism of six days or more was associated with low work engagement. The fitted model explained 23% of the total variability in work engagement.

This study emphasises that health care managers need to promote co-worker and supervisor support in order to optimise work engagement with special attention to those who are not directly involved in patient care.
Keyword Co worker support
Health professionals
Supervisor support
Work engagement
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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