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Healthy Healthcare - implementation of an work environment intervention model in healthcare organizations

PhD project Personnel are the health care organizations most important and valuable resource. At the same time, staff within the health care system are at greater risk of suffering from work-related ill health compared to the work forces in many other sectors. This means that there is a need to develop evidence-based methods and work procedures that decrease the risk for ill health customized specifically for environment that the health care employee works in.

The purpose of the present PhD project, performed at the Industrial Doctoral School, is to develop a dynamic, contextualized, and integrated process model to support the leading of taking measures to improve the working environment within the health care system. An aim for the project is that the process model and the tools (as a survey instrument) that are developed in the project will be used continuously by health care organizations to create healthy and attractive workplaces with good outputs.

Head of project

Alexander Agrell
Research student, doctoral student

Project overview

Project period:

2021-01-01 2026-06-01


The project is funded 50% by the industrial school for research and innovation (IDS) and 50% by the external partner Region Västerbotten.

Project description

Employees within the health care system are at greater risk of suffering from work-related ill health compared to staff in other sectors. Social and organizational factors such as high workload, overcrowding, cooperation problems, and lack of recovery are among others known risk factors. This complicates the challenges that the health care system stands before. Competence maintenance and the demographic change (where more and more of the population are getting older) are examples of great challenges that the regions and other parties of the health care system are facing. These challenges  require great adaptations for the organizations, where the task of strengthening the work environment will be key to achieve a long-term success. This in turn  will lead to increased demands on managers and other significant actors to lead interventions which aims to improve the work environment.

Specific aims for the PhD project include:

Evaluate a survey instrument:
Translation, adaptation and validation (in relation to organization outputs, e.g., incident reports, sick leave and quality of care) of a newly developed survey tool for psychosocial work environment (DPQ: Danish Psychosocial Work Environment Questionnaire) for Region Västerbotten. The goal is that repeated use of the survey will be a part of the continuously work to track work environment factors, change of these over time plus establish the relation between work environment, health care employees’ health and the organization’s outputs. About 400 employees will initially be invited to participate in the validation study of DPQ.

Development and evaluation of a process model:
The development and evaluation of a leadership training program at an operational level adapted to the health care system in cooperation with Region Västerbotten. The training program is planned as a joint training for managers, work safety representatives, and other key persons for the work environment management. The participants will be trained to operate intervention processes to strengthen the work environment within their workplace in cooperation with one another. The evaluation of the leadership training will examine both the training program per se but also its impact on the interventions that will occur as a result of the training.

Latest update: 2024-02-08