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Working in group living homes for older people with dementia: the effects on job satisfaction and burnout and the role of job characteristics

  • Selma te Boekhorst (a1) (a2), Bernadette Willemse (a1), Marja F. I. A. Depla (a1), Jan A. Eefsting (a2) and Anne Margriet Pot (a1) (a2) (a3)...


Background: Group living homes are a fast-growing form of nursing home care for older people with dementia. This study seeks to determine the differences in job characteristics of nursing staff in group living homes and their influence on well-being.

Methods: We examined the Job Demand Control Support (JDCS) model in relation to 183 professional caregivers in group living homes and 197 professional caregivers in traditional nursing homes. Multilevel linear regression analysis was used to study the mediator effect of the three job characteristics of the JDCS-model (demands, control and social support) on job satisfaction and three components of burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and decreased personal accomplishment).

Results: Demands were lower in group living homes, while control and social support from co-workers were higher in this setting. Likewise, job satisfaction was higher and burnout was lower in group living homes. Analysis of the mediator effects showed that job satisfaction was fully mediated by all three psychosocial job characteristics, as was emotional exhaustion. Depersonalization was also fully mediated, but only by control and social support. Decreased personal accomplishment was partially mediated, again only by job characteristics, control and support.

Conclusion: This study indicates that working in a group living home instead of a traditional nursing home has a beneficial effect on the well-being of nursing staff, largely because of a positive difference in psychosocial job characteristics.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Selma te Boekhorst, Trimbos-Instituut, Postbus 725, 3500 AS Utrecht, The Netherlands. Phone: 0031302959441; Fax number: 0031302971111. Email:


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