Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Health SciencesOur research

Research project: Patients’ experiences of care and the influence of staff motivation, affect and well-being

Currently Active: 

Patients' experiences of care and the quality of care they receive are likely to be influenced by levels of staff motivation and well-being. However, it is uncertain to what extent these factors are related. Previous research has tended to look at just one aspect of motivation, affect and well-being or one staff group.

In this study we will take a broad approach to explore and understand the links between patients' experiences of care, staff motivation, affect and well-being. The first phase of the study will consist of a review of the literature, and interviews with staff and patients. The second phase will be to collect in-depth information from staff and patients to she light on the human experience in health care for staff, patients and carers. This information will be collected by researchers in four case studies of practice through interviews, observation of practice, diaries, questionnaires, and through examination of routine clinical data. We will aim to distinguish factors identified by patients that may connect with, and be influenced by, staff well-being. Findings will be fed back to staff to help inform decisions about service improvement.

The research has potential to benefit NHS staff and patients through helping create a responsive and high quality service for patients. It aims to provide evidence to help clinicians and managers know which areas of staff well-being to focus on and understand how this varies between different staff groups and will provide evidence to guide national and local decisions to improve patient experiences of care.

The project involves academic and practice stakeholders and patient representatives. Members of the advisory group include a patient's council representative and another member who holds executive positions in patient and public involvement in health.

The overall aim of the study is to establish the nature of associations between staff wellbeing, affect and motivation on the one hand and patient experiences of the care they receive on the other. This is an important area for research; enhancing the wellbeing of staff not only addresses the duty of care employers have towards their staff but is also likely to positively influence absenteeism, turnover and performance, and create a better climate and environment for the delivery of excellent patient care.
Study objectives:

1. identify and analyse factors described by patients that may connect with/be influenced by, staff well-being and to better understand the complex relationships between the providers and receivers of care

2. determine what particular staff attitudes, affect and behaviours maximise patients' well-being and experiences of care

3. identify a range of factors experienced by staff at work and how these influence their affect, motivation and capacity to deliver high quality care

4. identify how context, including different types of organisational arrangements, culture or climate contribute to staff well-being and patient care

5. explore with staff the issues of emotions at work, emotional labour and customer orientated care

6. make recommendations based on any identified links between patient experiences and staff well-being to enhance the experience of patients and to enhance the well-being of the healthcare workforce.

Project team

Professor Alison Richardson, Clinical Chair in Cancer Nursing and End of Life Care


Dr Jill Maben King’s College London Dr Riccardo Peccei, Dr Glenn Robert, Dr Trevor Murrells Dr Jocelyn Cornwell, Dr Neil Conway, Professor Graham Bell

Project funder

National Institute for Health Research SDO programme

Associated research themes

Patient experience
Staff well being
Healthcare workforce

Related research groups

Complex Healthcare Processes
Share this research project Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings