Building Health Promotion into the Job of Home Care Aides: Transformation of the Workplace Health Environment

Author: Naoko Muramatsu; Lijuan Yin; Ting-Ti Lin
Language: English
Published: 2017
Source: Directory of Open Access Journals: DOAJ Articles
Online Access: http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/4/384
https://doaj.org/toc/1660-4601
https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14040384
https://doaj.org/article/32b71404dfe944c68af465a7c818cca8
Identification number: ftdoajarticles:oai:doaj.org/article:32b71404dfe944c68af465a7c818cca8

Summary

Home care aides (HCAs), predominantly women, constitute one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States. HCAs work in clients’ homes that lack typical workplace resources and benefits. This mixed-methods study examined how HCAs’ work environment was transformed by a pilot workplace health promotion program that targeted clients as well as workers. The intervention started with training HCAs to deliver a gentle physical activity program to their older clients in a Medicaid-funded home care program. Older HCAs aged 50+ reported increased time doing the types of physical activity that they delivered to their clients (stretching or strengthening exercise) (p = 0.027). Almost all (98%) HCAs were satisfied with the program. These quantitative results were corroborated by qualitative data from open-ended survey questions and focus groups. HCAs described how they exercised with clients and how the psychosocial work environment changed with the program. Building physical activity into HCAs’ job is feasible and can effectively promote HCAs’ health, especially among older HCAs.