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ADOPTED PROJECT: Magnet4Europe: Improving mental health and wellbeing in the health care workplace

Joint Lead: Professor Peter Griffiths and Professor Jane Ball


University of Southampton, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL), Belgium

  • Start date – Jan 2020

  • End date – Dec 2023

Lay Summary

The pervasiveness and growing levels with which mental health morbidity is reported by healthcare professionals is a matter of concern. Underlying causes are frequently rooted within the work environment. In the United States, implementing the Magnet© model of organizational work re-design for nurses in hospitals has been associated with improved mental health, reduced burnout and turnover and improved patient outcomes, yet the model has not been implemented at scale in Europe.  

The aim of the EU-funded Magnet4Europe study is to transfer, modify, scale up, and evaluate the Magnet© model in 60 European hospitals in 6 countries (Belgium, England, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden) between 2020 and 2023. The intervention involves the following: implementing hospital-wide change via a bundle of organizational measures as stipulated in the Magnet© manual, facilitated by one-to-one twinning with 60 Magnet© recognized U.S. hospitals with experience in implementing the Magnet© model, a European learning collaborative for hospital managers, and a critical mass of hospitals promoting innovation to attract public interest and foster replication.

Magnet4Europe uses a usual-practice wait-list cluster randomized trial (RCT) to determine the effect and costs of Magnet© hospital organizational redesign on nurse and physician health outcomes and wellbeing, with burnout as the primary outcome, using validated instruments. Secondary outcome variables include staff well-being and turnover. In addition, the implementation of the intervention is evaluated using a nested mixed-methods process evaluation, based on focus groups and individual interviews with a selection of hospitals in the participating countries.

Analyses will be based on quantitative (RCT) and qualitative methods (process evaluation) and a triangulation of the findings. Dissemination of the results are planned for different audiences, including clinicians, hospital managers, policymakers and the wider public.

NB: The term ‘Physician’ is used for consistency across the EU countries in the study Consortium.  In the UK context the staff group referred to equates to Medical Staff -Medics

Intervention Hospital Magnet® is a trademark of ANCC registered in the United States of America and other jurisdictions and is being used under license from ANCC. All rights are reserved by ANCC. ANCC’s consent to the use of the Intervention Hospital Magnet® mark shall not be construed as ANCC sponsoring, participating, or endorsing the Magnet4Europe intervention. ©American Nurses Credentialing Center. Reproduced under license from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. All rights reserved.

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