The psychosocial survey of healthcare workers findings helps to improve our understanding of the psychosocial working environment for healthcare workers in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The survey in 2022 covered all aspects of the psychosocial working environment, including demands at work, work organisation and job content, interpersonal relations and leadership, work-individual interface, social capital, health and wellbeing (including general health and psychological distress), and offensive behaviours such as bullying, sexual harassment and threats of violence.

The survey also focused on psychosocial safety climate. Psychosocial safety climate is a proxy for workplace culture that focuses on the priority a business gives to workers’ health and safety. Research has shown that it identifies factors that are ‘causes of causes’ (upstream influencers).

This data can support healthcare organisations to identify and address psychosocial risks at work and promote good practices to improve healthcare workers’ psychosocial health and wellbeing.

Key findings

The research from 2022 surveyed 1,067 healthcare workers in hospitals, medical services, and other healthcare services.

  • Over half of healthcare workers report exposure to at least one offensive behaviour in the 12 months prior to the survey. Threats of violence was the most common hostile act reported (34%) followed by bullying (33%) and sexual harassment (12%).
  • Healthcare workers report higher scores for job demands. Scores over 40 indicate moderate risk and above 70 indicate high risk. Healthcare workers report higher quantitative demands (50.9), work pace (68.4) and emotional demands (67.0) compared to all New Zealand workers.
  • The percentage of healthcare workers who report signs of distress at least ‘some of the time’ are: physical exhaustion (72.5%), emotional exhaustion (67.7%), stress (57.9%) and cognitive stress (46.4%).
  • Healthcare workers self-rated a score for their mental wellbeing. A score of 50 and below indicates poor mental wellbeing and increased risk of depression. The mean score for healthcare workers is 50.6. 47% report a score of 50 and below, and one in nine workers (11.1%) report a score of 20 and below.
  • Common positive psychological factors supporting the mental wellbeing of healthcare workers are meaning of work, possibilities for development, social support from colleagues, sense of community at work, and job security.

Read the report

A3 summary: Psychosocial risks for healthcare (PDF 58 KB)
Summary report: Psychosocial risks of healthcare workers (PDF 298 KB)
Full report: A psychosocial survey of healthcare workers (PDF 2.3 MB)