Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Morale in the English mental health workforce: Questionnaire survey
Authors: Johnson, Sonia
Osborn, David P.J.
Araya, Ricardo
Wearn, Elizabeth
Paul, Moli
Stafford, Mai
Wellman, Nigel
Nolan, Fiona
Killaspy, Helen
Lloyd-Evans, Brynmor
Anderson, Emma
Wood, Stephen J.
First Published: 12-Jul-2012
Publisher: Maney Publishing on behalf of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
Citation: British Journal of Psychiatry, 2012, 201 (3), pp. 239-246
Abstract: Background: High-quality evidence on morale in the mental health workforce is lacking. Aims: To describe staff well-being and satisfaction in a multicentre UK National Health Service (NHS) sample and explore associated factors. Method: A questionnaire-based survey (n = 2258) was conducted in 100 wards and 36 community teams in England. Measures included a set of frequently used indicators of staff morale, and measures of perceived job characteristics based on Karasek's demand-control-support model. Results: Staff well-being and job satisfaction were fairly good on most indicators, but emotional exhaustion was high among acute general ward and community mental health team (CMHT) staff and among social workers. Most morale indicators were moderately but significantly intercorrelated. Principal components analysis yielded two components, one appearing to reflect emotional strain, the other positive engagement with work. In multilevel regression analyses factors associated with greater emotional strain included working in a CMHT or psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU), high job demands, low autonomy, limited support from managers and colleagues, age under 45 years and junior grade. Greater positive engagement was associated with high job demands, autonomy and support from managers and colleagues, Black or Asian ethnic group, being a psychiatrist or service manager and shorter length of service. Conclusions: Potential foci for interventions to increase morale include CMHTs, PICUs and general acute wards. The explanatory value of the demand-support-control model was confirmed, but job characteristics did not fully explain differences in morale indicators across service types and professions.
DOI Link: 10.1192/bjp.bp.111.098970
ISSN: 0007-1250
eISSN: 1472-1465
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2012 Royal College of Psychiatrists. Deposited with reference to the publisher's archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website. This is an author-produced electronic version of an article accepted for publication in the British Journal of Psychiatry. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Management

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Staff morale in the English mental health workforce for submission nov 11 2-2.pdfPost-review (final submitted)313.74 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in LRA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.