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Predicting Changes in Staff Morale and Burnout at Community Health Centers Participating in the Health Disparities Collaboratives

Objective. To identify predictors of changes in staff morale and burnout associated with participation in a quality improvement (QI) initiative at community health centers (HCs).

Data Sources. Surveys of staff at 145 HCs participating in the Health Disparities Collaboratives (HDC) program in 2004.

Data Collection and Study Design. Self-administered questionnaire data collected from 622 HC staff (68 percent response rate) were analyzed to identify predictors of reported change in staff morale and burnout. Predictive categories included outcomes of the QI initiative, levels of HDC integration, institutional support, the use of incentives, and demographic characteristics of respondents and centers.

Principal Findings. Perceived improvements in staff morale and reduced likelihood of staff burnout were associated with receiving personal recognition, career promotion, and skill development opportunities. Similar outcomes were associated with sufficient funding and personnel, fair distribution of work, effective training of new hires, and consistent provider participation.

Conclusions. Having sufficient personnel available to administer the HDC was found to be the strongest predictor of team member satisfaction. However, a number of low-cost, reasonably modifiable, organizational and leadership characteristics were also identified, which may facilitate improvements in staff morale and reduce the likelihood of staff burnout at HCs participating in the HDC.

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