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Factors influencing the career choice and retention of community mental health workers in Ghana.

Agyapong VI, Osei A, Farren CK, McAuliffe E - Hum Resour Health (2015)

Bottom Line: Overall, 12 (16.2%) CMHOs, 1 (5.3%) CPO and 20 (28.2%) CPNs reported they had considered leaving the mental health profession because of the stigma, with 4 (36.4%) psychiatrists and 12 (41.4%) health policy coordinators also reporting that they knew some CMHWs who had considered leaving the mental health profession because of stigma.Similarly, 16 (21.6%) CMHOs, 4 (22.1%) CPOs and 38 (53.5%) CPNs said they had considered leaving the mental health profession because of concerns about risk.Furthermore, 6 (54.5%) psychiatrists and 3 (10.3%) health policy directors said they knew some CMHWs who had considered leaving the mental health profession because of concerns about risk.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. agyapong@ualberta.ca.

ABSTRACT

Background: Whilst there have been several studies exploring retention in health workers, little is known about health workers engaged in the provision of mental health services and the factors that affect their recruitment and retention.

Aims: The objective of this research was to examine the views of stakeholders about the factors which influence career choices and retention of community mental health workers (CMHWs) in Ghana.

Methods: We administered three separate, self-administered, semi-structured questionnaires to 11 psychiatrists, 29 health policy directors and 164 CMHWs across Ghana, including 71 (43.3%) community psychiatric nurses (CPNs), 19 (11.6%) clinical psychiatric officers (CPOs) and 74 (45.1%) community mental health officers (CMHOs).

Results: Overall, 34 (20.7%) of all CMHWs chose to work in mental health because of the job prospects in mental healthcare. Overall, 12 (16.2%) CMHOs, 1 (5.3%) CPO and 20 (28.2%) CPNs reported they had considered leaving the mental health profession because of the stigma, with 4 (36.4%) psychiatrists and 12 (41.4%) health policy coordinators also reporting that they knew some CMHWs who had considered leaving the mental health profession because of stigma. Similarly, 16 (21.6%) CMHOs, 4 (22.1%) CPOs and 38 (53.5%) CPNs said they had considered leaving the mental health profession because of concerns about risk. Furthermore, 6 (54.5%) psychiatrists and 3 (10.3%) health policy directors said they knew some CMHWs who had considered leaving the mental health profession because of concerns about risk. Overall, 61 (37.2%) of CMHWs reported that they have considered leaving the mental health profession for other reasons other than stigma and risk including the following: the lack of support, respect and recognition from healthcare managers, lack of opportunities for professional development and poor conditions of service including low salaries, lack of office and personal accommodation and lack of risk allowance and transportation as well as poor inter-professional relationships.

Conclusions: Several factors affect the recruitment and retention of CMHWs in Ghana, including the prospects of easy employment, stigma, risk, lack of opportunities for career progression and low salaries.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Flow chart for study participants.
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Fig2: Flow chart for study participants.

Mentions: Data were collected between the 10th of August 2013 and 30th of October 2013. Data from CMHWs nationwide were obtained with the assistance of the national coordinator of the CPNs and her 10 regional representatives as well as a CPO who works as a lecturer at the College of Health and Wellbeing at Kintampo. The former distributed and returned all 109 questionnaires to CMHWs working in all 10 regions through her regional coordinators. The latter administered the questionnaires to 80 CMHWs attending a conference at the College in August 2013 of which 55 questionnaires were returned. The overall response rate from CMHWs was therefore 86.8%. Data from all the psychiatrists and health policy directors were collected by the lead investigator (VIOA) through face-to-face contact. In the case of the health policy directors, comprising mainly of district and regional directors of health services, the lead investigator approached 33 of them at a regional performance review meeting organized by the Eastern Regional Health Directorate and two other health coordinators working in another region of which 26 agreed and completed the survey questions giving a response rate for health policy directors of 74.28%. All the psychiatrists who were approached consented and participated in the study, a response rate of 100% (Figure 2).Figure 2


Factors influencing the career choice and retention of community mental health workers in Ghana.

Agyapong VI, Osei A, Farren CK, McAuliffe E - Hum Resour Health (2015)

Flow chart for study participants.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4496922&req=5

Fig2: Flow chart for study participants.
Mentions: Data were collected between the 10th of August 2013 and 30th of October 2013. Data from CMHWs nationwide were obtained with the assistance of the national coordinator of the CPNs and her 10 regional representatives as well as a CPO who works as a lecturer at the College of Health and Wellbeing at Kintampo. The former distributed and returned all 109 questionnaires to CMHWs working in all 10 regions through her regional coordinators. The latter administered the questionnaires to 80 CMHWs attending a conference at the College in August 2013 of which 55 questionnaires were returned. The overall response rate from CMHWs was therefore 86.8%. Data from all the psychiatrists and health policy directors were collected by the lead investigator (VIOA) through face-to-face contact. In the case of the health policy directors, comprising mainly of district and regional directors of health services, the lead investigator approached 33 of them at a regional performance review meeting organized by the Eastern Regional Health Directorate and two other health coordinators working in another region of which 26 agreed and completed the survey questions giving a response rate for health policy directors of 74.28%. All the psychiatrists who were approached consented and participated in the study, a response rate of 100% (Figure 2).Figure 2

Bottom Line: Overall, 12 (16.2%) CMHOs, 1 (5.3%) CPO and 20 (28.2%) CPNs reported they had considered leaving the mental health profession because of the stigma, with 4 (36.4%) psychiatrists and 12 (41.4%) health policy coordinators also reporting that they knew some CMHWs who had considered leaving the mental health profession because of stigma.Similarly, 16 (21.6%) CMHOs, 4 (22.1%) CPOs and 38 (53.5%) CPNs said they had considered leaving the mental health profession because of concerns about risk.Furthermore, 6 (54.5%) psychiatrists and 3 (10.3%) health policy directors said they knew some CMHWs who had considered leaving the mental health profession because of concerns about risk.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. agyapong@ualberta.ca.

ABSTRACT

Background: Whilst there have been several studies exploring retention in health workers, little is known about health workers engaged in the provision of mental health services and the factors that affect their recruitment and retention.

Aims: The objective of this research was to examine the views of stakeholders about the factors which influence career choices and retention of community mental health workers (CMHWs) in Ghana.

Methods: We administered three separate, self-administered, semi-structured questionnaires to 11 psychiatrists, 29 health policy directors and 164 CMHWs across Ghana, including 71 (43.3%) community psychiatric nurses (CPNs), 19 (11.6%) clinical psychiatric officers (CPOs) and 74 (45.1%) community mental health officers (CMHOs).

Results: Overall, 34 (20.7%) of all CMHWs chose to work in mental health because of the job prospects in mental healthcare. Overall, 12 (16.2%) CMHOs, 1 (5.3%) CPO and 20 (28.2%) CPNs reported they had considered leaving the mental health profession because of the stigma, with 4 (36.4%) psychiatrists and 12 (41.4%) health policy coordinators also reporting that they knew some CMHWs who had considered leaving the mental health profession because of stigma. Similarly, 16 (21.6%) CMHOs, 4 (22.1%) CPOs and 38 (53.5%) CPNs said they had considered leaving the mental health profession because of concerns about risk. Furthermore, 6 (54.5%) psychiatrists and 3 (10.3%) health policy directors said they knew some CMHWs who had considered leaving the mental health profession because of concerns about risk. Overall, 61 (37.2%) of CMHWs reported that they have considered leaving the mental health profession for other reasons other than stigma and risk including the following: the lack of support, respect and recognition from healthcare managers, lack of opportunities for professional development and poor conditions of service including low salaries, lack of office and personal accommodation and lack of risk allowance and transportation as well as poor inter-professional relationships.

Conclusions: Several factors affect the recruitment and retention of CMHWs in Ghana, including the prospects of easy employment, stigma, risk, lack of opportunities for career progression and low salaries.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus