Evaluation of an open-rota system in a Danish psychiatric hospital: a mechanism for improving job satisfaction and work-life balance

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Pryce, Joanna ; Albertsen, Karen ; Nielsen, Karina (2006)

Aims: -- To evaluate the impact of an open-rota scheduling system on the health, work-life balance and job satisfaction of nurses working in a psychiatric ward in Denmark. -- Background: The effects of shift rotation and scheduling are well known; however, little is known about the wider benefits of open-rota systems. -- Method: A structured questionnaire was distributed to control and intervention groups preintervention and postintervention (20 months). Nurses within the intervention group trialed an open-rota system in which nurses designed their own work-rest schdules. -- Results: Nurses in the intervention group reported that they were more satisfied with their work hours, less likely to swap their shift when working within the open-rota system and reported significant increases in work-life balance, job satisfaction, social support and community spirit when compared with nurses in the control groups. -- Conclusions: The ownership and choice over work-rest schedules has benefits for nurses, and potentially the hospital.
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