The relationship between healthcare staff wellbeing and patient care: it’s not that simple

Kevin Rui Han Teoh, Gail Kinman, Juliet Hassard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


Expecting happier and healthier staff to provide better care may make intuitive sense, but this is not always the case. This chapter highlights the complexity of the relationship between healthcare staff wellbeing and patient care, and we introduce the “happy-productive worker” hypothesis which postulates that happy and healthy workers are more productive. Here, we initially review the evidence for this relationship among workers in various sectors and consider some of the limitations of our understanding of this association. We then examine the research looking at the links between healthcare staff wellbeing and the quality of patient care at both the individual and organisational level. This is followed by a reflection on the inconsistency of this relationship, and how measurement, moderators, and context influence the presence and strengths of this association. Finally, we consider the implications for research, practice, and policy—including the Healthy Healthcare concept.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntegrating the organization of health services, worker wellbeing and quality of care: towards healthy healthcare
EditorsLise Tevik Løvseth, Annet H. de Lange
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783030594671
ISBN (Print)9783030594664
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020.


  • Burnout
  • Happy-productive worker hypothesis
  • Job performance
  • Quality of care
  • Work engagement
  • Work-related stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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