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1.  Rural health workers and their work environment: the role of inter-personal factors on job satisfaction of nurses in rural Papua New Guinea 
Background
Job satisfaction is an important focal attitude towards work. Understanding factors that relate to job satisfaction allows interventions to be developed to enhance work performance. Most research on job satisfaction among nurses has been conducted in acute care settings in industrialized countries. Factors that relate to rural nurses are different. This study examined inter-personal, intra-personal and extra-personal factors that influence job satisfaction among rural primary care nurses in a Low and Middle Income country (LMIC), Papua New Guinea.
Methods
Data was collected using self administered questionnaire from rural nurses attending a training program from 15 of the 20 provinces. Results of a total of 344 nurses were available for analysis. A measure of overall job satisfaction and measures for facets of job satisfaction was developed in the study based on literature and a qualitative study. Multi-variate analysis was used to test prediction models.
Results
There was significant difference in the level of job satisfaction by age and years in the profession. Higher levels of overall job satisfaction and intrinsic satisfaction were seen in nurses employed by Church facilities compared to government facilities (P <0.01). Ownership of facility, work climate, supervisory support and community support predicted 35% (R2 =0.35) of the variation in job satisfaction. The factors contributing most were work climate (17%) and supervisory support (10%). None of these factors were predictive of an intention to leave.
Conclusions
This study provides empirical evidence that inter-personal relationships: work climate and supportive supervision are the most important influences of job satisfaction for rural nurses in a LMIC. These findings highlight that the provision of a conducive environment requires attention to human relations aspects. For PNG this is very important as this critical cadre provide the frontline of primary health care for more than 70% of the population of the country. Many LMIC are focusing on rural health, with most of the attention given to aspects of workforce numbers and distribution. Much less attention is given to improving the aspects of the working environment that enhances intrinsic satisfaction and work climate for rural health workers who are currently in place if they are to be satisfied in their job and productive.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-156
PMCID: PMC3471005  PMID: 22691270
2.  The influence of power dynamics and trust on multidisciplinary collaboration: a qualitative case study of type 2 diabetes mellitus 
Background
Ongoing care for chronic conditions such as diabetes is best provided by a range of health professionals working together. There are challenges in achieving this where collaboration crosses organisational and sector boundaries. The aim of this article is to explore the influence of power dynamics and trust on collaboration between health professionals involved in the management of diabetes and their impact on patient experiences.
Methods
A qualitative case study conducted in a rural city in Australia. Forty five health service providers from nineteen organisations (including fee-for-service practices and block funded public sector services) and eight patients from two services were purposively recruited. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews that were audio-taped and transcribed. A thematic analysis approach was used using a two-level coding scheme and cross-case comparisons.
Results
Three themes emerged in relation to power dynamics between health professionals: their use of power to protect their autonomy, power dynamics between private and public sector providers, and reducing their dependency on other health professionals to maintain their power. Despite the intention of government policies to support more shared decision-making, there is little evidence that this is happening. The major trust themes related to role perceptions, demonstrated competence, and the importance of good communication for the development of trust over time. The interaction between trust and role perceptions went beyond understanding each other's roles and professional identity. The level of trust related to the acceptance of each other's roles. The delivery of primary and community-based health services that crosses organisational boundaries adds a layer of complexity to interprofessional relationships. The roles of and role boundaries between and within professional groups and services are changing. The uncertainty and vulnerability associated with these changes has affected the level of trust and mistrust.
Conclusions
Collaboration across organisational boundaries remains challenging. Power dynamics and trust affect the strategic choices made by each health professional about whether to collaborate, with whom, and to what level. These decisions directly influenced patient experiences. Unlike the difficulties in shifting the balance of power in interprofessional relationships, trust and respect can be fostered through a mix of interventions aimed at building personal relationships and establishing agreed rules that govern collaborative care and that are perceived as fair.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-63
PMCID: PMC3376040  PMID: 22413897

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