Predicting absenteeism and turnover intentions in the health professions

Aust Health Rev. 2008 May;32(2):271-81. doi: 10.1071/ah080271.


Objectives: The study examined the mediating influence of individual psychological reactions to work on the relationship between organisational climate and job withdrawal behaviours (viz, intention to leave and absenteeism).

Methods: 1097 hospital employees were surveyed using the Queensland Public Agency Staff Survey (QPASS) to obtain measures of organisational climate, psychological reactions to work, job satisfaction, and self-reported levels of intention to leave. Group-level absenteeism data were provided from the Health Service District files.

Results: Two psychological states, quality of work life and job satisfaction, were found to fully mediate the relationship between the organisational climate variable, role clarity, and intention to leave, while individual distress was found to partially mediate the same relationship. However, the hypothesised mediation effect of psychological states on the relationship between organisational climate and absenteeism did not emerge.

Conclusion: Skills shortages and increasing demands for health services make retention of staff in the health service industry vitally important. As a means of addressing this issue, this study presents an emergent mediating model defining relationships among individual psychological factors, aspects of organisational climate and intention to leave. Identification of the processes associated with staff withdrawal behaviours or intentions will assist in devising interventions to improve retention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Australia
  • Female
  • Group Processes
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Personnel Turnover* / statistics & numerical data
  • Personnel, Hospital* / psychology
  • Personnel, Hospital* / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality of Life