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On-call work and physicians' turnover intention: the moderating effect of job strain

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Tarja Heponiemi, Dr Justin Presseau


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Physician shortage and turnover are major problems worldwide. On-call duties may be among the risk factors of high turnover rates among physicians. We investigated whether having on-call duties is associated with physicians' turnover intention and whether job strain variables moderate this association. The present study was a cross-sectional questionnaire study among 3324 (61.6% women) Finnish physicians. The analyses were conducted using analyses of covariance adjusted for age, gender, response format, specialization status and employment sector. The results showed that job strain moderated the association between being on-call and turnover intention. The highest levels of turnover intention were among those who had on-call duties and high level of job strain characterized by high demands and low control opportunities. The lowest levels of turnover intention were among those who were not on-call and who had low strain involving low demands and high control. Also, job demands moderated the association between being on-call and turnover intention; turnover intention levels were higher among those with on-call duties and high demands than those being on-call and low demands. To conclude, working on-call was related to physicians' turnover intention particularly in those with high job strain. Health care organizations should focus more attention on working arrangements and scheduling of on-call work, provide a suitable working pace and implement means to increase physicians' participation and control over their job.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Heponiemi T, Presseau J, Elovainio M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Psychology, Health & Medicine

Year: 2016

Volume: 21

Issue: 1

Pages: 74-80

Print publication date: 01/01/2016

Online publication date: 15/06/2015

Acceptance date: 08/05/2015

ISSN (print): 1354-8506

ISSN (electronic): 1465-3966

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/13548506.2015.1051061


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Funder referenceFunder name
112241Finnish Work Environment Fund