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Am J Public Health ; 111(12): 2239-2250, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1608071


Objectives. To determine the prevalence and predictors of US home health care workers' (HHWs') self-reported general, physical, and mental health. Methods. Using the 2014-2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, we analyzed the characteristics and health of 2987 HHWs (weighted n = 659 000) compared with 2 similar low-wage worker groups (health care aides and health care support workers, not working in the home). We conducted multivariable logistic regression to determine which characteristics predicted HHWs' health. Results. Overall, 26.6% of HHWs had fair or poor general health, 14.1% had poor physical health, and 20.9% had poor mental health; the prevalence of each outcome was significantly higher than that of the comparison groups. Among HHWs, certain factors, such as low household income, an inability to see a doctor because of cost, and a history of depression, were associated with all 3 aspects of suboptimal health. Conclusions. HHWs had worse general, physical, and mental health compared with low-wage workers not in home health. Public Health Implications. Increased attention to the health of HHWs by public health experts and policymakers is warranted. In addition, targeted interventions appropriate to their specific health needs may be required. (Am J Public Health. 2021;111(12):2239-2250.

Health Status , Home Health Aides/statistics & numerical data , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Allied Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System , Female , Home Health Aides/psychology , Humans , Income , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Occupational Stress/epidemiology , Prevalence
J Am Geriatr Soc ; 70(2): 512-521, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480180


BACKGROUND: To describe the growth and characteristics of the direct care health workforce, encompassing home health aides, personal care aides, nursing assistants, and orderlies and psychiatric aides from 2010 to 2019 in the United States. METHODS: Using nationally representative data from the 2010 to 2019 American Community Survey, we described the growth in the direct care health workforce overall and by type of direct care health worker. In addition, we examined the distribution of direct care workers by geographic region of the country, age categories, citizenship, world area of birth, income, health insurance status, and other characteristics. RESULTS: From 2010 to 2019, the number of direct care health workers in the United States per 10,000 individuals decreased slightly from 135.81 in 2010 to 133.78 in 2019. Personal care aides made up 42.1% of the direct care health workforce in 2019, followed by nursing assistants (39.5%) and home health aides (16.3%). In 2019, the number of direct care health workers who were not U.S. citizens accounted for roughly 10% of all workers in each year. The relative percentage of direct care health workers that were not a citizen of the United States was highest among home health aides (16.3%). Among workers born outside of the United States, the majority were from Latin America, followed by Asia. CONCLUSION: From 2010 to 2019, there was little growth in the direct care health workforce despite growing demand for direct care health workers. In the midst of the current and projected shortage of direct care health workers-particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, longer-term solutions to improve retention of direct care health workers and increase the supply of direct care health workers may be needed.

COVID-19 , Health Workforce , Adult , Female , Health Workforce/statistics & numerical data , Health Workforce/trends , Home Health Aides/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Long-Term Care , Male , Nursing Assistants/statistics & numerical data , Psychiatric Aides/statistics & numerical data , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States