Investigating job satisfaction in palliative rehabilitation: Reflections and perspectives of health professionals working with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

J Eval Clin Pract. 2022 Feb;28(1):108-119. doi: 10.1111/jep.13599. Epub 2021 Jul 16.


Study rationale: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease which causes impairment of the motor functions in the upper and lower limbs and bulbar muscles with a median survival time is three years from the first appearance of symptoms. There is massive psychological impact on health professionals to persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, hence the work leads to multiple challenges and stressful and demanding situations with high risk of experiencing diminished personal well-being including burnout, moral distress, and compassion fatigue.

Aim: To investigate reflections and perspectives from health professionals working within palliative rehabilitation for elements of importance in relation to job satisfaction.

Methods and materials: The design was qualitative and based on the phenomenological-hermeneutical methodology by Paul Ricoeur's interpretation theory. Data consisted of two semi-structured focus group interviews with a total of 12 specialized health professionals: Nurses, Psychologists, Physicians, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, and Social workers, working within a hospital setting of specialized palliative rehabilitation for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their families.

Results: The analysis revealed insight into four themes: fundamental drive, working conditions, value of collegiality and work-life balance. Fundamental drive was deeply rooted in the professionals' sense of having a meaningful job. Working conditions such as self-management were important for job satisfaction as were good collegial relations. Finally, a good balance between working life and private life was considered important for job satisfaction.

Conclusion: Our study indicates that work within the field of palliative rehabilitation is experienced as enriching and beneficial under the right circumstances and in an appreciatory working environment. We found elements like autonomy, mastery, purpose, collegiality, and work-life balance to be of great importance. Our findings can help guide managements and health professionals in other palliative rehabilitation contexts to ensure satisfied employees and to optimize the quality of care.

Keywords: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; health professionals; job satisfaction; palliative care; rehabilitation.

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis*
  • Burnout, Professional*
  • Compassion Fatigue*
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases*