<p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Job satisfaction is important to staff management of township health centers (THCs), as it is associated with organizational performance, quality of care and employee retention. The purpose of this study was to measure job satisfaction level of THC employees in poor rural China and to identify relevant features in order to provide policy advice on human resource development of health service institutions in poor regions.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>A self-completion questionnaire was used to assess the job satisfaction and relevant features (response rate: 90.5%) among 172 employees (i.e., clinic doctors, medico-technical workers and public health workers) of 17 THCs in Anhui and Xinjiang provinces of China. The study covered a time period of two months in 2007.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The mean staff job satisfaction scored 83.3, which was in the category of "somewhat satisfied" on a scale ranging from 0 (extremely dissatisfied) to 100 (extremely satisfied) by employing Likert's transformation formula. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) revealed eight domains involved in modeling of job satisfaction, among which, the caregivers were more satisfied with job significance (88.2), job competency (87.9) and teamwork (87.7), as compared with work reward (72.9) and working conditions (79.7). Mean job satisfaction in Xinjiang (89.7) was higher than that in Anhui (75.5).</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Employees of THCs have moderate job satisfactions in poor areas, which need to be raised further by improving their working conditions and reward.</p
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