WORK ABILITY LITERACY AMONG OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH NURSES
A QUALITATIVE STUDY
Objectives: The study aims to test the work ability literacy concept, and to evaluate the effect of a counselling training intervention on occupational health nurses’ work ability literacy. We investigated what content the occupational health nurses gave to the concept of work ability literacy personally and when working with clients in occupational health check-ups at baseline, and how this concept changed after the counselling training intervention.
Methods: Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse occupational health nurses’ answers to open-ended questions on work ability literacy.
Results: The occupational health nurses' concept of work ability literacy became broader and more defined. Responses to work-related issues increased. The nurses began to find more means to support their own work ability. In client work, the counselling training promoted development from a passive listener to an active supporter of the client’s actions to meet their own goals.
Conlusions: The work ability literacy concept shifted the focus of occupational health check-ups towards empowering the client to maintain and improve their own work ability and health. We propose to use the work ability literacy concept for improving the effectiveness of counselling in occupational health services.