Recovery at work as a health-promoting process

Abstract: The purpose of this thesis was to deepen the understanding of recovery during the workday and its importance for employee health. Workplace intervention as a tool to promote employees’ experience of recovery was also evauated.The studies were carried out in a primary health care setting in one health care district in Sweden between 2013 and 2019, together with the employees working at the 26 participating centres. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were applied during the process. Two separate questionnaires were used and analysed with multivariate linear or logistic regression analyses. Also, focus group interviews were conducted for two different data collections, bothanalysed inspired by systematic text condensation.The findings indicate that experiencing recovery is the most significant predictor of self-rated health. The results also identified three factors of importance for perceived recovery during the workday: variation, companionship, andmanageability. Since these factors appeared to be prerequisites for recovery, they became the basis for planning and implementing a workplace intervention with various recovery activities addressed to primary health care employees.Consideration was also given to each workplace’s own abilities, needs, and wishes. An evaluation after intervention ending showed a significant increase in experienced recovery during the workday among the participating employees,which was mainly explained by the possibility for reflection. When exploring the intervention process further, four promoting factors for the successful outcome emerged: support, legitimacy, customization, and simplicity. Also, three areas were positively affected by the intervention. These upward spirals were work climate, employee well-being, and recovery awareness.The results of this thesis contribute to work recovery research by establishing that recovery is essential for self-rated health, and that interventions can be used to enhance employees’ experience of recovery during the workday. Otherimportant areas, like work climate and employee well-being, can also be positively affected. For intervention success, special consideration should be given to strengthening workplace relationships, with key factors such ascompanionship, reflection, and support.

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