Date of Degree

9-2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Nursing

Advisor

Elizabeth Capezuti

Committee Members

Steven Baumann

Stacey Plichta

Angela Ghesquiere

Subject Categories

Nursing | Public Health and Community Nursing

Keywords

health promotion, adult protective services workers, health, work environment, vulnerable adults.

Abstract

Background: Adult protective services encompass social services provided to vulnerable adults: abused, neglected and exploited elderly and adults with significant disabilities in the United States. Adult Protective Services (APS) workers investigate allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults. APS workers work closely with multidisciplinary teams and professionals in various fields to assist with the investigations. APS workers and other professionals are exposed to individual and work environment stressors that result in a lower professional quality of life. There is evidence, however, that health-promoting behaviors mitigate the negative effects of stressors.

Purpose: Using the Health Promotion Theory by Nola Pender as a framework, this study examined the psychometric properties of the Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile (HPLP-II) and the Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL) in a sample of APS workers and professionals who support vulnerable adults. Additionally, the relationship between demographic and work environment factors was examined in relation to the health promoting behaviors and work-related quality of life of APS workers and other professionals who support vulnerable adults.

Method: Attendees (n=129) of an Adult Abuse Training participated in this cross-sectional, correlational design study. The associations of demographic and work environment factors were examined in relation to health promoting behaviors and work-related quality of life using the bi-variate statistics and regression models. Also, the validity and reliability of the HPLP-II and ProQOL were examined using Pearson correlation. Internal consistency reliability was measured using Cronbach alpha.

Results: The total scores and subscale scores of the HPLP-II and ProQOL showed a good level of internal consistency reliability (Cronbach’s alpha between .75 and .96). Results indicated a positive association between work-life balance, education level, and perceptions of health. Direct client contact was negatively associated with HPLP. Work environment factors, including current position, salary, perceived job satisfaction, and likelihood of looking for another job, were all positively associated with ProQOL. General linear models revealed additional factors that significantly predicted certain subscale scores of the HPLP-II.

Conclusion: The HPLP-II and ProQOL are reliable instruments for use with APS workers and professionals who support vulnerable adults in NYS. Given the positive association between work-life balance and health promoting behaviors, it is important for agencies to be proactive in ensuring that APS workers and other professionals develop the coping skills and understanding of the behaviors that could reduce related stress and trauma and enhance, rather than undermine, mental and physical health.

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