Predictors of “quality of work” and “poor health” among primary health‐care personnel in Catalonia

Simon L. Dolan (Institute for Labor Studies, ESADE Business School, Ramon Llul University, Barcelona,Spain)
Salvador García (Faculty of Social Psychology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain)
Carmen Cabezas (Fundació Jordi Gol i Gurina for the Promotion of Primary Care Research, Barcelona, Spain)
Shay S. Tzafrir (Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel)

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Publication date: 21 March 2008



The purpose of this paper is to test a theoretically driven model of the relationship between job demands, employees' motivation and resources, and supervisory support on employees' quality of work lives and their general health.


The study uses large survey data that were collected in the years 1995, 2002, and 2003 respectively, drawn from the public health care employees sector in Catalonia (Spain). Albeit cross‐sectional methodology, the study embraces an additional retrospective and longitudinal design.


The 2002 cross‐sectional study (n=2,926) supports the assertion made by stress researchers regarding the extent to which both job demands and lack of supervisory support predict low QWL and negative health outcomes: perceived motivation, resources and capabilities also appear as determinants but to a lesser extent. The stability of the results obtained was tested retrospectively by cross‐legging the model for the 1995 survey (n=2,901). In addition, a follow‐up study (i.e. longitudinal) was conducted in 2003 (n=10,003) to see whether the model still holds. By and large, the three‐level design shows the stability of the prediction in the same direction.

Practical implications

The paper discusses some possible prevention strategies to reduce the low QWL and negative health outcomes within the Public Health Sector.


The paper covers all categories of personnel in the health care personnel and thus external validity is very strong. Findings permit the taking of concrete actions to reduce stress, reduce negative health outcomes and by and large enhance the quality of work lives of the people in this sector.



Dolan, S., García, S., Cabezas, C. and Tzafrir, S. (2008), "Predictors of “quality of work” and “poor health” among primary health‐care personnel in Catalonia", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 203-218.

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