The QPSNordic 34+ was applied to measure psychosocial aspects of the work environment. This is a short version of the General Nordic Questionnaire for Psychological and Social Factors at Work (QPSNordic and consists of 37 items. Each item has five response alternatives, ranging from “very seldom or never” (1) to “very often or always” (5). In line with a previous study, subscales were identified by testing sets of items that corresponded to the subscales of the full version of the QPSNordic. The internal consistency of each of those sets of items was calculated, and a Cronbach’s alpha ; 0.70 was set as the criterion for keeping the scale for further analysis.
Using these procedures, the following five subscales were identified and found to have satisfactory internal consistency: Empowering Leadership (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.85), Role Clarity (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.79), Support from Superiors (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.80) were assessed by two item each. Control at Work (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.72) was assessed with four items and Organisational Climate (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.77) with six items.
Empowering Leadership comprises items concerning the amount of encouragement and help from the leader to take part in decision making and to develop skills. Role Clarity taps the clarity of the goals for the work and the clarity of the expectations put on the nursing staff. Support from Superiors involves the amount of help and appreciation from the supervisors to the nursing staff, and Control at Work focuses on the nursing staffs’ perceived control over workload and working pace. The Organizational Climate comprises aspects of group collaboration, communication, the presence of rewards for the work, innovation and organizational regime. All items were scored on a five-point scale, ranging from one (very seldom or never) to five (very often or always) (Lindstorm, 2000).
The psychosocial work environment underlines the situation for the staff, in terms of organizational conditions for their work and relational aspects among the staff and managers (Tuvesson ; Eklund ; Wann, 2012). The psychosocial work environment is important for the staffs’ job satisfaction (Severinsson & Hummelvoll, 2001) and in relation to stress (Jenkins and Elliot, 2004). Furthermore, Organizational and psychosocial working conditions contribute to the health and well-being of individuals and groups in an organization (Borritz et al. & Christensen et al., 2005).Gifford (2002) found that physical workplace factors have major in?uence on employee satisfaction and productivity.
According to the theoretical framework, an optimal psychosocial work environment for workers is characterized by demands that are adapted to an individual’s capacities (psychological demands), a satisfactory level of influence (decision latitude), adequate social support from superiors and colleagues, a balance between efforts expended at work and reward received, predictability of work, meaning of work, and interaction with clients (Karasek ; Theorell 1990, Siegrist 1996, Kristensen 1999).
Favorable work environments have been found to be related to work engagement in psychiatric in-patient care (Van Bogaert, 2013) and reducing the risk of burnout (Hanrahan, 2010). While a poor work environment has been found would build stress and burnout for employees (Sorgaard, 2010). A research on psychological and social factors at work plays an important part in transformations in working life and the occupational health and safety since the 1960’s and 1970’s (Lindstorm, 1995).