Dementia care and labour market: the role of job satisfaction

Aging Ment Health. 2009 May;13(3):383-90. doi: 10.1080/13607860902861043.


Objectives: A labour shortage in the dementia care sector is to be expected in the near future in the Netherlands and in many other European states. The objective of this study is to analyse why people quit or avoid jobs in dementia care.

Method: An integrative analysis was used to study reports, articles, and Website information on the dementia care labour market.

Results: The main reason for quitting a (dementia) care job was the lack of job satisfaction. Job satisfaction was reduced by a lack of appreciation and professionals' own dissatisfaction about the quality of care they were able to provide. Effects of staff training on job satisfaction, quality of dementia care, and patient functioning are promising.

Conclusion: Job satisfaction is the main cause of quitting (dementia) care jobs. It might also be the key to solving problems in the dementia care labour market. Considering health-care workers as precious capital and taking adequate measures to enhance job satisfaction might contribute to a better image of dementia care. The following hypothesis has been derived from our results: enhancement of job satisfaction will prevent professional caregivers from quitting jobs and improve the quality of care and patient outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Burnout, Professional / nursing*
  • Career Mobility
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Dementia / nursing*
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Residential Facilities
  • Surveys and Questionnaires