Study: Depression and stress prevalent in low-wage earning nursing home workers

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The prevalence of depression is common among low-wage nursing home workers — who also experience higher levels of stress than other workers — a new Harvard study finds.

“The high burden of work-family stress and depression in this group has important public health implications for the workers and their families as well as for the quality of care delivered to nursing home residents,” said Harvard School of Public Health researcher Cassandra Okechukwu.

Okechukwu and her team surveyed 452 workers, mostly women, to investigate the link between depression and stress at home and work. Participants were asked about stressors such as financial hardships, lack of food and whether they worried about work-related issues during non-work hours. Investigators found that these stressors were double the rate in nursing home workers than other professions.

Okechukwu and her team, which released their findings earlier this week, said they hope to use this information to develop interventions aimed at improving work-family problems among nursing home workers.

For more on the study, which was published in the American Journal of Public Health, click here.

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