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Well-being, roles and satisfaction of health workers

photo of Mozambique health center

This research initiative is focused on the development of strategies to support facility- and community-based health workers who endeavor to provide quality care in very low-resource settings. This is part of the global effort to strengthen health systems in low- and middle-income countries and to provide patient-centered care while respecting the motivation and abilities of the health workers themselves.

photo of hallway in Mozambique health center

Health workers are a critical component of well-functioning health systems. However, low- and middle-income countries are experiencing severe health worker shortages, often in concert with high burdens of disease. Community-based health workers have been promoted as one solution to scale-up delivery of health services in low-resource settings, but strategies to support their unique roles and integrate them into the health system are lacking. We characterize ongoing strategies and test evidence-based ones to support facility- and community-based health workers’ motivation, workplace factors important to job satisfaction, and thoughts of leaving in the context of performance in the health system. Of course, health workers’ own well-being is important in its own right, so we also investigate the impacts of the health care professions on health workers’ well-being and identity. We conduct this work in Guatemala, Mozambique, Canada and the United States.

photo of bikes used by Mozambique health workers

Publications

Schuster RC, de Sousa OL, Rivera J, Olson R, Pinault D, Young SL. Performance-based incentives may be appropriate to address challenges to delivery of prevention of vertical transmission of HIV services in rural Mozambique: a qualitative investigation. BMC Human Resources for Health, 14:60.   
 
Schuster RC, de Sousa OL, Reme AK, Vopelak CM, Pelletier DL, Johnson LM, Mbuya MN, Pinault D, Young SL. Performance-based incentives improve teamwork and empower health workers delivering prevention of vertical transmission of HIV services in rural Mozambique.Under review.
photo of Roseanne SchusterRoseanne Schuster, Postdoctoral research associate, School of Human Evolution and Social Change
photo of Jonathan MaupinJonathan Maupin, Associate professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change