Objective: The aim of this study is to examine the pathways by which work-life balance influences safety climate in hospital settings.
Design: A national cross-sectional survey on patient safety culture.
Settings: Healthcare workers from 56 hospitals in Taiwan, covering three work settings: intensive care units, operation rooms and emergency departments.
Participants: 14 345 healthcare workers took part in the survey and were included in the present analysis.
Primary and secondary outcomes measures: The Safety Attitudes, Maslach's Burn-out Inventory and Work-life balance questionnaires were used to measure patient safety culture, teamwork, leadership, emotional exhaustion and work-life balance. Path analysis was conducted to determine the relationship between work-life balance and safety climate. We tested for mediating and moderating factors influencing this relationship.
Results: The path between work-life balance and safety climate was found to be significant (b=0.32, p<0.001) and explained through a serial mediation. This relationship was found to be mediated by emotional exhaustion followed by teamwork climate in a full mediation. Leadership factors such as identifying as a manager, moderated the indirect pathway between work-life balance and safety climate through teamwork climate (index of moderation: b=0.083, bias corrected 95% CI 0.044 to 0.120) but not through emotional exhaustion or the serial pathway. Subgroup analysis from non-managers on their perception of management was also found to moderate this relationship.
Conclusion: We found work-life balance to be associated with safety climate through a fully mediated model. The mediation pathways are moderated by self-identified leadership and perceptions of leadership. Understanding the pathways on how work-life balance influences safety climate provides an explanatory model that can be used when designing effective interventions for implementation in system-based approaches to improve patient safety culture in hospital settings.
Bibliographical noteCopyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.
- patient care management
- patient safety
- safety management
- work-life balance