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Healthy work for female unpromoted general practice dentists

By Karin Hjalmers, Björn Söderfeldt and Björn Axtelius


This study describes how female unpromoted general practice dentists (GPDs) in a region in Sweden perceived “healthy work”, i.e. their image of the dimensions that the dentistry profession should contain if it is to be really healthy work. The study also investigates whether there is a gulf between ideal and reality for this group. All unpromoted GPDs within the Public Dental Health Service’s general practice in a region in Sweden received a questionnaire, and 94% responded. The data were collected during July and August 2000 and the question about healthy work was taken from work environment studies. A principal components analysis was performed. Three factors explaining more than half the variance (53%), forming three well defined vector clusters: 1) a factor for moral values and possibilities for skill discretion, i.e. properties specific for human services, 2) a factor for career development and 3) a factor for work environment. We found that factor 1 alone explained a greater proportion of the variance (28%) for the respondents. The main results were that the female unpromoted GPDs emphasized free and intellectually stimulating work and that the gulf between the ideal and the reality was wide, especially concerning the dentist’s influence on important decisions. A salutogenetic approach built on good communication and democracy at work, and based on freedom and the employees’ influence, could bring ideal and reality closer

Year: 2004
DOI identifier: 10.1080/00016350410005852
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