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The social distribution of risk at work: acute injuries and physical assaults among healthcare workers working in a long-term care facility.

Authors
Myers-DJ; Kriebel-D; Karasek-R; Punnett-L; Wegman-DH
Source
Soc Sci Med 2007 Feb; 64(4):794-806
NIOSHTIC No.
20031800
Abstract
The roles of informal social ties in affecting healthcare workers' risk of injury and assault were investigated in a long-term care facility for the elderly in the US. The original hypothesis was that nurses and healthcare assistants who integrated more with their coworkers would have lower risk. A crude measure of familiarity and social integration with coworkers was constructed from staff attendance records. This variable, which indicates working a floor and shift one has routinely worked on in the past, was associated with a moderate increase in risk of being injured after controlling for lifting demands and a fairly strong increased risk of being assaulted after controlling for resident combativeness. An interaction between social integration and job title was found. The primary associations were in the opposite direction of what was expected. The results suggest that social forces among healthcare workers shape the distribution of risk among workers in a manner more complex than some theories of social integration have suggested. New hypotheses are proposed to explore how social norms and expectations affect the way workers interact with each other and shape the distribution of risk among workgroup members.
Keywords
Injury-prevention; Risk-factors; Risk-analysis; Nurses; Nursing; Occupational-hazards; Medical-personnel; Health-care-personnel; Health-care-facilities; Workers; Worker-health; Occupational-health; Occupational-health-nursing; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Sociological-factors
Contact
Duke University, Community and Family Medicine, 2200 W. Main Street, Suite 700, Durham, NC 27705
CODEN
SSMDEP
Publication Date
20070201
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
douglas.myers@duke.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2007
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R03-OH-004203
Issue of Publication
4
ISSN
0277-9536
Source Name
Social Science and Medicine
State
IL; MA; NC
Performing Organization
University of Massachusetts - Lowell
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