IJERPH, Vol. 18, Pages 9693: Associations between Psychosocial Working Conditions and Quality of Care (i.e., Slips and Lapses, and Perceived Social Interactions with Patients)—A Cross-Sectional Study among Medical Assistants (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Adverse psychosocial working conditions in the health care sector are widespread and have been associated with a reduced quality of patient care. Medical assistants (MA) assume that their unfavorable working conditions predominantly lead to a poorer quality of care in terms of slips and lapses, and poorer social interactions with patients. We examined those associations for the first time among MAs. A total of 944 MAs in Germany participated in a survey (September 2016–April 2017). Psychosocial working conditions were measured by the effort-reward imbalance (ERI) questionnaire and a questionnaire specifically designed for MAs. Slips and lapses (3 items, e.g., measurement or documentation errors) and the quality of interactions (3 items) with patients were measured by a questionnaire developed by the study team based on prior qualitative research. We ran Poisson regression to estimate multivariable prevalence ratios (PRs). The ERI ratio and MA-specific working conditions were significantly associated with frequent self-reported slips and lapses (PR = 2.53 and PR ≥ 1.22, respectively) or poor interactions with patients (PR = 3.62 and PR ≥ 1.38, respectively) due to work stress. Our study suggests that various types of adverse psychosocial working conditions are associated with perceptions of slips and lapses or poorer interaction with patients due to work stress among MAs.