Hoffmann, Jan ORCID: 0000-0003-4154-9270, Kersting, Christine and Weltermann, Birgitta (2020). Practice assistants' perceived mental workload: A cross-sectional study with 550 German participants addressing work content, stressors, resources, and organizational structure. PLoS One, 15 (10). SAN FRANCISCO: PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE. ISSN 1932-6203

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Introduction Practice assistants represent a highly relevant occupational group in Germany and one of the most popular training professions in Germany. Despite this, most research in the health care sector has focused on secondary care settings, but has not addressed practice assistants in primary care. Knowledge about practice assistants' workplace-related stressors and resources is particularly scarce. This cross-sectional study addresses the mental workload of practice assistants working in primary care practices. Methods Practice assistants from a network of 185 German primary care practices were invited to participate in this cross-sectional study. The standardized 'Short Questionnaire for Workplace Analysis' (German: Kurzfragebogen zur Arbeitsanalyse) was used to assess practice assistants' mental workload. It addresses eleven workplace factors in 26 items: versatility, completeness of task, scope of action, social support, cooperation, qualitative work demands, quantitative work demands, work disruptions, workplace environment, information and participation, and benefits. Sociodemographic and work characteristics were also obtained. A descriptive analysis was performed for sociodemographic data and Short Questionnaire for Workplace Analysis factors. The one-sided t-test and Cohen's d were calculated fora comparison with data from 23 professional groups (n = 8,121). Results A total of 550 practice assistants from 130 practices participated. The majority of practice assistants was female (99.3%) and worked full-time (66.5%) in group practices (50.6%). Compared to the other professional groups, practice assistants reported higher values for the factor social support (4.0 versus 3.7 [d 0.44; p<0.001]), information and participation (3.6 versus 3.3 [d 0.38; p<0.001] as well as work disruptions (2.7 vs. 2.4 [d 0.42; p<0.001]), while practice assistants showed lower values regarding scope of action (3.4 versus 3.8 [d 0.43; p<0.001]). Conclusions Our study identified social support and participation within primary care practices as protective factors for mental workload, while work disruptions and scope of action were perceived as stressors.

Item Type: Journal Article
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Hoffmann, JanUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0003-4154-9270UNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-316055
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0240052
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS One
Volume: 15
Number: 10
Date: 2020
Place of Publication: SAN FRANCISCO
ISSN: 1932-6203
Language: English
Faculty: Unspecified
Divisions: Unspecified
Subjects: no entry
Uncontrolled Keywords:
RISKMultiple languages
Multidisciplinary SciencesMultiple languages
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/31605


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