Aims: This paper is a report of a study with three aims: (i) to investigate whether emotional, quantitative and physical demands have a causal, negative impact on nurses' health; (ii) to examine whether work-home interference can explain this effect, by playing a mediating role; and (iii) to test the so-called loss spiral hypothesis claiming that nurses' health problems lead to even higher job demands and more work-home interference over time. - Background: While many scholars have thought in terms of the stressor→work-home interference→strain model, the validity of a model that includes opposite pathways needs to be tested. - Method: A questionnaire was completed twice, with a 1-year time interval by 753 (63·4%) Registered Nurses working in hospitals, 183 (15·4%) working in nursing homes, and 251 (21·1%) working in home care institutions. The first measurement took place between October 2002 and June 2003. - Findings: Our findings strongly support the idea of cross-lagged, reciprocal relationships between job demands and general health over time. The reciprocal model with work-home interference as an intervening variable (including reciprocal relationships between job demands, work-home interference and general health) showed a good fit to the data, and proved to be superior to both the causality and reversed causation models. - Conclusion: The higher nurses' job demands, the higher is their level of work-home interference and the more likely is a general health deterioration over time, in turn giving rise to higher job demands and work-home interference, which may even aggravate the nurses' general health, and so on.
- work-home interference
- job demands