Changes in Health and Well-Being of Nursing Home Managers from a Prepandemic Baseline in February 2020 to December 2021

Published:December 27, 2022DOI:



      To evaluate changes in mental health and well-being (eg, quality of work life, health, intention to leave) among nursing home managers from a February 2020 prepandemic baseline to December 2021 in Alberta, Canada.


      Repeated cross-sectional survey.

      Setting and Participants

      A random sample of nursing homes (n = 35) in urban areas of Alberta was selected on 3 strata (region, size, ownership). Care managers were invited to participate if they (1) managed a unit, (2) worked there for at least 3 months, and (3) worked at least 6 shifts per month.


      We measured various mental health and well-being outcomes, including job satisfaction (Michigan Organizational Assessment Questionnaire Job Satisfaction Subscale), burnout (Maslach Burnout Inventory—exhaustion, cynicism, efficacy), organizational citizenship behaviors (constructive efforts by individuals to implement changes to improve performance), mental and physical health (Short Form–8 Health Survey), burden of worry, and intention to leave. We use mixed effects regression to examine changes at the survey time points, controlling for staffing and resident acuity.


      The final sample included 181 care managers (87 in the pre-COVID survey; 94 in the COVID survey). Response rates were 66.9% and 82.5% for the pre-COVID and COVID surveys, respectively. In the regression analysis, we found statistically significant negative changes in job satisfaction (mean difference −0.26, 95% CI –0.47 to −0.06; P = .011), cynicism (mean difference 0.43, 95% CI 0.02-0.84; P = .041), exhaustion (mean difference 0.84, 95% CI 0.41-1.27; P < .001), and SF-8 mental health (mean difference −6.49, 95% CI –9.60 to −3.39; P < .001).

      Conclusions and Implications

      Mental health and well-being of nursing home managers worsened during the pandemic, potentially placing them at risk for leaving their jobs and in need of improved support. These findings should be a major concern for policy makers, particularly given serious prepandemic workforce shortages. Ongoing assessment and support of this understudied group are needed.


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