Saf Health Work.  2018 Dec;9(4):434-440. 10.1016/

Interruptions, Unreasonable Tasks, and Quality-Threatening Time Pressure in Home Care: Linked to Attention Deficits and Slips, Trips, and Falls

  • 1University of Bern, Switzerland.
  • 2National Center of Competence in Research, Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, CISA, Geneva, Switzerland.
  • 3Philipps University of Marburg, Germany.


In industrial countries, home care of community dwelling elderly people is rapidly growing. Frequent injuries in home caregivers result from slips, trips, and falls (STFs). The current study tests attentional cognitive failure to mediate the association between work stressors and STFs.
A sample of 125 home caregivers participated in a questionnaire study and reported work interruptions, unreasonable tasks, quality-threatening time pressure, conscientiousness, attentional cognitive failures, and STFs.
In structural equation modeling, the mediation model was shown to fit empirical data. Indirect paths with attentional cognitive failures as the link between work stressors and STF were all significant in bootstrapping tests. An alternative accident-prone person model, that suggests individual differences in conscientiousness to predict attentional cognitive failures that predict more frequent work stressors and STFs, showed no significant paths between work conditions and STFs.
To prevent occupational injury, work should be redesigned to reduce work interruptions, unreasonable tasks, and quality-threatening time pressure in home care.


fall prevention; home care; occupational health
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