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Open Access Research article

Factors associated with job satisfaction among Chinese community health workers: a cross-sectional study

Cuixia Ge, Jialiang Fu, Ying Chang and Lie Wang*

Author Affiliations

Department of Social Medicine, School of Public Health, China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning, People's Republic of China

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BMC Public Health 2011, 11:884  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-884

Published: 24 November 2011

Abstract

Background

With the medical reform, the function of community health centres emerged to be more important recently in China. However, the health service capabilities were tremendously different between metropolitan cities and small cities. This study aims to clarify the level of job satisfaction of Chinese community health workers between a metropolitan (Shenyang) and a small city (Benxi) in Liaoning province and explore its associated factors.

Methods

A cross-sectional survey was conducted from December 2009 to February 2010. A multi-stage sample was used and a total of 2,100 Chinese community health workers from the two cities completed self-administered questionnaire pertaining to job satisfaction indicated by Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ), demographic characteristic and working situations, stress and job burnout. The effective response rate was 80.7%. Hierarchical regression analysis was performed to explore the related factors. All data analyses for the two cities were performed separately.

Results

The averages of overall job satisfaction score of Chinese community health workers were 67.17 in Shenyang and 69.95 in Benxi. Intrinsic job satisfaction and extrinsic job satisfaction among Chinese community health workers were significantly different between Shenyang and Benxi (p < 0.05). In Shenyang, hierarchical regression analysis showed that the fourth model explained 36%, 32% of the variance of intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfactions, respectively. In Benxi, the fourth model explained 48%, 52% of the variance of intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfactions, respectively. Three significant predictors of intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfactions for the two cities were the two dimensions (social support and decision latitude) of stress and cynicism of burnout.

Conclusion

From this study, the job satisfaction among Chinese community health workers in the two cities enjoyed a moderate level of job satisfactions, which represented they are not fully satisfied with their jobs. Community health workers in Shenyang had lower job satisfaction as compared to those in Benxi. This study strengthened the evidence that stress and burnout were important predictors of intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfactions.