Stress, motivation and professional satisfaction among health care workers in HIV/AIDS care and treatment centers in urban Tanzania: a cross-sectional study

  • H Siril
  • LR Hirschhorn
  • C Hawkins
  • ME Garcia
  • MS Li
  • S Ismail
  • SG Mdingi
  • G Chalamilla
  • W Fawzi
  • S Kaaya
Keywords: HIV, motivation, stress, health care workers, resource limited settings


Background: Shortages of health care workers (HCWs) represents a serious challenge to ensuring effective HIV care in resourcelimited settings (RLS). Stress, motivation, and job satisfaction have been linked with HCW retention and are important in addressing HCW shortages. In this cross-sectional study HCW stress, motivation and perceived ability to meet patient needs were assessed in PEPFAR-supported urban HIV care and treatment clinics (CTCs) in Tanzania.
Methods: A self-administered questionnaire measuring motivation, stress, and perceived ability to and meet patient needs was given to HCWs at 16 CTCs. Scales measuring HCW satisfaction, motivation, and stress were developed using principle components analysis. Hierarchical linear models were used to explore the association of HCW and site characteristics with reported satisfaction, stress, motivation, and ability to meet patients’ needs.
Results: Seventy-three percent (279) of HCWs completed the  questionnaire. Most (73%) HCWs reported minimal/no work-related stress, with 48% reporting good/excellent motivation, but 41% also reporting  feeling emotionally drained. Almost all (98%) reported feeling able to help their patients, with 68% reporting work as rewarding. Most reported receipt of training and supervision, with good availability of resources. In the  multivariate model, direct clinical providers reported lower motivation than management (p<0.05) and HCWs at medium-sized sites reported higher motivation than HCWs at larger sites (p<0.05). HCWs at small and medium sites were more likely to feel able to help patients than those from larger sites (p<0.05 and p<0.001 respectively).
Conclusion: Despite significant patient loads, HCWs in these PEPFAR-supported CTCs reported high levels of motivation, job satisfaction, ability to meet patients’ needs, low levels of stress but significant emotional toll. Understanding the relationship between support systems such as strong supervision and training and these outcomes is critical in designing  interventions to improve motivation, reduce stress and increase retention of HCWs.

KeyWords: HIV, motivation, stress, health care workers, resource limited settings


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eISSN: 0856-8960