Given the increase in demand for optometry services by society and the importance of the Optometry profession in Portugal and Spain, the objective of this study was to determine job satisfaction and important factors related to this satisfaction in a sample of Portuguese and Spanish optometrists.
A prospective, cross-sectional, and observational study was carried out from June to December 2021. An adaptation of the 15-item job satisfaction in eye-care personnel (JSEP) questionnaire validated by Paudel et al. was administered to Portuguese and Spanish optometrists. The questionnaire was shared through different social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, etc.) in a Google form during the months of June to December 2021 in Portugal and Spain.
A total of 530 surveys were collected in Portugal (42.3%; n = 224) and Spain (57.7%; n = 306). The factors that most influence overall job satisfaction are salary, career development opportunities, recognition/prestige in society, good work-life balance (all p<0.001), workplace equipment and facilities, and encouragement reward positive feedback (both p = 0.002). When comparing the determinants of job satisfaction of optometrists, it was found that Portuguese professionals were generally more satisfied than Spanish ones (p<0.001). However, Spanish optometrists reported feeling more supported by their colleagues (p<0.001).
This study has shown that the level of job satisfaction was higher in Portugal than in Spain. The most important factors influencing job satisfaction were salary, job stability, and support from colleagues.
Job satisfaction is defined as the feelings or emotions that connect workers to their jobs.1 Thus, it is known as “the positive emotional state resulting from the evaluation of one´s work or work experiences.”2 or “the extent to which people like or dislike their job.”3 That is, the attitude of workers towards their work in general, or more specifically, towards their colleagues, payroll, or working conditions. An employee may experience different job satisfaction through job stability, professional development, and growth, as well as a balanced work-life situation. Conversely, job stress can lead to burnout by decreasing people´s abilities to meet the demands of the job. In other words, an adequate workload can improve workers’ skills and enhance their success at work.4
Job satisfaction is considered a protective factor against burnout and the negative consequences of work-related stress.5 In healthcare professionals, job satisfaction is vital, as burnout can directly affect the health of patients and the quality of health care.6 Thus, job satisfaction is comprised of working conditions, communication, nature of work, organizational policies and procedures, salary and conditions, opportunities for promotion (also progression, recognition, or appreciation), safety, and supervision or relationships.7 Job satisfaction is also influenced by various factors, such as working conditions and organizational environment, stress levels, role conflict and ambiguity, role perceptions and content, and organizational and professional commitment.7, 8, 9, 10
This study has shown that the level of job satisfaction of the surveyed health professionals satisfied or very satisfied was higher in Portugal (74.1%) than in Spain (45.4%). The most valuable factors were support from colleagues, job stability, and workplace equipment and facilities; while the least valued factors were recognition/prestige in society, non-financial incentives, and career development opportunities.