A key component of the 2009 medical reform in China was the change to family doctor (FD) policy practice. However, this led to an increased workload for primary health-care workers (PHCWs) at community health service centres. Their increasing workload may play a significant role in affecting PHCWs’ health.
A questionnaire survey was conducted in Hongkou district of Shanghai amongst PHCWs including family doctors (FDs), family nurses (FNs), public health doctors (PHDs), and other PHCWs in early 2019. Ordered logistic regression models (Models 1 to 3) were performed to explore the differing health status amongst PHCWs, and their respective influential factors were also tested (Models 4 to 7).
Five hundred sixty-two valid questionnaires were collected with a response rate of 96.4%. Other PHCWs’ (OR = 2.03; 95% CI: 1.163-3.560) and FNs’ (OR = 1.98; 95% CI: 1.136-3.452) self-rated health (SRH) were significantly better than that of FDs. In terms of FNs, the OR of SRH for those who strongly perceived the extra workload brought by FD-contracted services was only 12.0% (95% CI: 0.018-0.815) of that of the no-pressure group. Similarly, FNs with stronger work pressure had worse SRH, i.e., compared with “no” pressure, the SRH ORs for “neutral,” “strong,” and “very strong” evaluations of work pressure were 0.002 (95% CI: 0.000-0.055), 0.001 (95% CI: 0.000-0.033), and 0.000 (95% CI: 0.000-0.006), respectively. Information technology (IT) systems and performance incentives were suggested to improve SRH for FNs, while the former was found to be negatively correlated with other PHCWs. After one unit increase in the PHDs’ team/department support, their OR was 10.7 times (95% CI: 1.700-67.352) higher. In addition, policy support had a negative effect on SRH for PHDs. The OR of “good” assessments of cultural environments was 25.98 times (95% CI: 1.391-485.186) higher than that of “very poor” for Other PHCWs.
The influences of FD policy practice on FNs’ SRH were the most significant amongst PHCWs, rather than FDs’ as expected. The significant factors of SRH were varied over different occupational categories, that is team/department support and policy support (though negative) for PHDs, IT system and incentive for FNs, facility and equipment for FDs, and culture environment for other PHCWs respectively.