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  • 1.
    Aronsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Psykologiska institutionen, Stockholms Universitet.
    Astvik, Wanja
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Gustafsson, Klas
    Institutionen för klinisk neurovetenskap, KI.
    Arbetsvillkor, återhämtning och hälsa - en studie av förskola. hemtjänst och socialtjänst2010Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Overall, the study aimed to investigate working conditions associated with the accumulation of stress and lack of recovery and to study how recovery is related to health. The study group was employed in pre-school, home care and social services, and came from two relatively large municipalities (n = 193). Recovery or lack of recovery was assumed to be an important intermediary between the working conditions and health / illness and absenteeism. Data collection was done through a survey and the overall response rate was 79%. About 90 percent of the respondents were women. Cluster analysis yielded three clusters. "Recovered" and "not recovered" are extreme groups, which consist of 36 respectively 25% of the total group, while the middle group was 39 percent. The not recovered group may be seen as a risk group for ill health and showed the whole chain of risk factors – difficult working conditions on which they respond with increased effort and compensatory work efforts. Despite significantly higher ill-health reports in the “not recovered group” they had not higher absenteeism, because they probably substitute sickness absence with sickness presence. In the social services group so many as 43% belongs to non-recovery group. Multiple regression analysis with control for background variables (age, working hours and professional field / operational area shows that the non-recovered group had a significantly higher relative risk for poor self-rated health than those in the recovered group. Even sharper increases in risk existed for the five symptoms in addition were analyzed. Finally there is a discussion of practical conclusions and new research questions.

  • 2.
    Aronsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Stockholm Univ, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden .
    Astvik, Wanja
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. Stockholm Univ, Dept Psychol, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden .
    Gustafsson, Klas
    Karolinska Inst, Dept Clin Neurosci, Div Insurance Med, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Work Conditions, Recovery and Health: A Study among Workers within Pre-School, Home Care and Social Work2014In: British Journal of Social Work, ISSN 0045-3102, E-ISSN 1468-263X, Vol. 44, no 6, p. 1654-1672Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The study investigated the working conditions associated with the accumulation of stress and lack of recovery and how recovery is related to health. The study group was employed in pre-school, home care and social work (n = 193). Recovery was assumed to be an explanatory variable for the relations between work and health. The response rate on a survey was 79 per cent. Cluster analysis identified three groups: the 'Recovered' (36 per cent of the total group) and 'Not Recovered' (25 per cent) and the 'In-between' (39 per cent). The Not Recovered displayed the whole chain of risk factors, involving difficult working conditions to which they responded with increased compensatory strategies. Despite this group having significantly greater reports of ill health, work absenteeism was not greater, which is likely related to their substituting sickness absence with sickness presence. As many as 43 per cent of the social workers were found to belong to the Not Recovered group. Multiple regression analyses controlling for background variables revealed that the Not Recovered group had a significantly higher relative risk for poor self-rated health than those in the Recovered group. Even sharper increases in relative risk existed for the other five symptoms that were analysed. Practical implications and new research questions are discussed.

  • 3.
    Astvik, Wanja
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Larsson, Robert
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Welander, Jonas
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Tillit i styrning och ledning för en hållbar arbetsmiljö inom socialtjänsten – en fallstudie av Nyköpings kommun.2018In: Styra och leda med tillit: Forskning och praktik / [ed] Louise Bringselius, Stockholm: Regeringskansliet/Norstedts Juridik , 2018, p. 139-165Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Kapitlet syftar till att beskriva hur en mer tillitsbaserad styrning och ledning kan gestalta sig inom socialtjänstens verksamheter genom en analys av individ- och familjeomsorgen i Nyköpings kommun. Resultaten visar att grunduppdraget, det vill säga det ansvar som verksamheten förväntas ta gentemot medborgarna utifrån lagstiftningen har stort utrymme i styrningen snarare än mål, som de för tillfället styrande politikerna formulerar. Kvantitativa mått kompletteras med kvalitativa verksamhetsbeskrivningar och kontinuerlig dialog om verksamhetens kvalitet, brister och utvecklingsbehov. Ansvarsavgränsningar som inte gynnar klientens bästa kan motverkas genom hur ekonomistyrningen används. Här framstår det som väsentligt att undvika konkurrens, incitament och repressalier i styrningen som leder till fokus på den egna enhetens ekonomi snarare än verksamhetens kvalitet. Styrning och ledning som söker säkerställa förmåga, integritet och hjälpvillighet hänger intimt samman med arbetsmiljöfrågorna. När organisationen identifierar och åtgärdar reella hinder som försvårar ett professionellt socialt arbete är det tydligt att organisation tar ansvar för både verksamhetskvalitet och arbetsmiljö. Att säkerställa integritet och hjälpvillighet innebär också en konsekvent hållning till principer och värderingar som speglar ett offentligt ämbetsmannaetos. Via öppenhet och dialog i organisationen är det de gemensamma värdena som bidrar till ett gemensamt ansvar för verksamhetens kvalitet och en hållbar arbetsmiljö.

  • 4.
    Astvik, Wanja
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering.
    Melin, Marika
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering.
    Coping with the imbalance between job demands and resources: A study of different coping patterns and implications for health and quality in human service work2013In: Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1468-0173, E-ISSN 1741-296X, Vol. 13, no 4, p. 337-360Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Summary: In recent decades the public welfare sector has been subjected to major structural changes, and studies of various occupational groups within human service work have reported increased workload and a high prevalence of work-related stress. Using questionnaire data from a sample of human service workers within social work, child care and elderly care, the aim of this study was to identify different patterns of coping strategies to manage the imbalance between work demands and resources, and then to investigate their impact on outcomes in employee health and service quality.

    Findings: Cluster analysis identified three strategy profiles: compensatory and quality reducing, voice and support seeking and self supporting, and the comparative analysis indicated that the compensatory and quality reducing cluster may be regarded as a risk group. Results of hierarchical regression analyses disclosed that the identified strategies affected health outcomes as well as perceived service quality. The use of compensatory and quality reducing strategies was negatively related to health and quality, although work demands, resources and background characteristics were controlled for.

    Applications: The results add to the research field through the identification of compensatory and quality reducing strategies not previously described in the coping literature, as well as the risks associated with them. Applied in practice, the identified strategy clusters might help distinguish “risk behaviours” from more beneficial strategies. The results also point toward the importance of providing organizational structures that allow the employees to voice their opinions and critique, as well as to give and receive social support. 

  • 5.
    Astvik, Wanja
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Melin, Marika
    Stockholms Universitet.
    Överlevnadsstrategier i socialt arbete: Hur påverkar copingstsrategier kvalitet och hälsa?2013In: Arbetsmarknad & Arbetsliv, ISSN 1400-9692, Vol. 19, no 4, p. 61-73Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Förändringarna inom välfärdstjänstesektorn i Sverige har det senaste decenniet varit genomgripande. Rationaliseringar och ett decentraliserat resultat- och kostnadsansvar har i många fall medfört ökade arbetskrav, och socialsekreterares situation framstår som särskilt svår. Ansvaret att hantera obalansen mellan krav och resurser har decentraliserats till den enskilde socialsekreteraren. När resurserna inte matchar de kvalitetskrav som ställs tvingas socialsekreterarna till strategier som antingen äventyrar deras egen hälsa eller kvaliteten i arbetet. 

  • 6.
    Astvik, Wanja
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Melin, Marika
    Stockholms Universitet, Sweden.
    Allvin, Michael
    Uppsala Universitet, Sweden.
    Survival strategies in social work: A study of how coping strategies affect service quality, professionalism and employee health.2014In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 52-66Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The restructuring of human service organisations into more lean organisations has brought increased work demands for many human service professions. Social work stands out as a particularly exposed occupational group, in which high work demands are paired with a large individual responsibility to carry out the job. The objectives of the study were to identify what kind of coping strategies social workers employ to handle the imbalance between demands and resources in work and to investigate how different strategies affect outcomes regarding health, service quality and professional development. 16 individual interviews and four group interviews with another 16 social workers were conducted. The analysis identified five different main types of strategies: Compensatory, Demand-reducing, Disengagement, Voice and Exit. An extensive use of compensatory strategies was connected with negative outcomes in health. Often these compensatory strategies were replaced or combined with different means of reducing the work demands, which in turn influence performance and service quality in a negative way. The results highlight dilemmas the social workers are facing when the responsibility to deal with this imbalance are “decentralised” to the individual social worker. When resources do not match the organisational goals or quality standards, the social workers are forced into strategies that either endanger their own health or threaten the quality of service.

  • 7.
    Astvik, Wanja
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Welander, Jonas
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Larsson, Robert
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Reasons for Staying: A Longitudinal Study of Work Conditions Predicting Social Workers’ Willingness to Stay in Their Organisation2019In: British Journal of Social Work, ISSN 0045-3102, E-ISSN 1468-263X, p. 1-19Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Extensive staff turnover within the statutory social services is a serious problem in Sweden and in other European countries. This study examines which work conditions predict social workers’ willingness to stay in their organisation. A web-based questionnaire was used to gather data. The participating social workers responded to two questionnaires over a one-year period. To identify the social workers who wanted to stay and also remained in the organisation, the group ‘Stayers’ (n = 1,368) consisted of social workers who reported low intentions to quit at T1. The group ‘Leavers’ (n = 1,182) were social workers who had actually resigned at T2. The data were analysed using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses. The multivariate analysis shows that the work conditions that predicted staying in the organisation were low degrees of conflicting demands and quantitative demands, high degrees of openness and human resource orientation in the organisation and a high degree of perceived service quality. The results are discussed in relation to public management and managerial responsibility to create sustainable work conditions that facilitate the provision of good social services for citizens.

  • 8.
    Bejerot, Eva
    et al.
    Stockholms Universitet.
    Astvik, Wanja
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare.
    Kundorientering och förändrade sociala relationer2010In: Sociala relationer i arbetslivet :  Studier från föränderliga arbetsplatser. / [ed] Eva Bejerot och Annika Härenstam, Lund: Gleerups Utbildning AB, 2010, p. 83-100Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Bejerot, Eva
    et al.
    Psykologiska institutionen Stockholms Universitet.
    Astvik, Wanja
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    När patienten blir kund: Nya stressorer och strategier i läkarens arbete2009Report (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Larsson, Robert
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Astvik, Wanja
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Welander, Jonas
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Hållbar socialtjänst – en fallstudie om relationen mellan arbetsmiljö och verksamhetsstyrning2018In: / [ed] Per Lindberg, Gävle: Gävle University Press , 2018, p. 64-65Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Bakgrund

    Flera studier gjorda under senare år visar att socialtjänsten framträder som särskilt problematisk vad gäller den organisatoriska och sociala arbetsmiljön med bland annat hög arbetsbelastning, rollkonflikter, låg grad av personalorientering liksom bristande öppenhet och dialog i organisationerna. Arbetsmiljöproblemen i socialtjänsten visar sig också genom hög personalomsättning, stressrelaterad ohälsa och sjukfrånvaro, vilket också får betydelse för socialtjänstens förmåga att tillhandahålla välfärdstjänster av hög kvalitet. Mot denna bakgrund är det motiverat att studera hur en mer hållbar organisatorisk och social arbetsmiljö i socialtjänsten kan åstadkommas.

    Syfte

    Syftet med studien är att undersöka relationen mellan styrsystem och arbetsmiljöarbete med fokus på hur verksamhetsstyrningen bättre kan harmoniera med och integrera arbetsmiljöfrågor.

    Metod

    Studien är en kvalitativ fallstudie av individ- och familjeomsorgen i en kommun i Stockholm-Mälarregionen. Valet av fall gjordes utifrån forskningsprojektets avsikt att identifiera goda exempel på socialtjänstverksamheter som strävar efter att skapa goda arbetsvillkor och en hållbar arbetsmiljö. Datainsamlingen baseras på semistrukturerade intervjuer med kommunpolitiker, chefer på olika nivåer, socialsekreterare, fackliga företrädare och personer som arbetar med verksamhetsstöd såsom personalarbete (HR) och verksamhetsutveckling. Sammantaget har 18 personer intervjuats. Policy- och styrdokument (t.ex. verksamhetsplaner) och olika typer av personal- och arbetsmiljöstatistik används som kompletterande data. Intervjumaterialet har analyserats genom en tematisk analys.

    Resultat

    Resultaten visar att styrningen och ledningen av socialtjänsten har ett tydligt fokus på verksamhetens syfte och brukarnas behov, vilket innebär att socialtjänstlagen och andra lagar som reglerar verksamheten ges en framträdande plats i verksamhetsstyrningen. I resultaten framkommer också betydelsen av att kunna utföra ett "gott socialt arbete" och verksamhetens förmåga att kunna leverera en god kvalitet i sina välfärdstjänster. En god kvalitet är också något som relateras till socialarbetarnas villkor och förutsättningar att kunna utföra ett professionellt socialt arbete. I detta sammanhang beskrivs även betydelsen av en god organisatorisk och social arbetsmiljö. Resultaten visar således att det, generellt sett, finns god medvetenhet bland politiker, chefer och socialarbetare om relationen mellan kvalitet och arbetsmiljö. Öppenhet och dialog i organisationen framträder här som särskilt betydelsefullt, vilket kan exemplifieras av att det görs kvalitativa dialogbaserade uppföljningar inom socialtjänsten där både verksamhetskvalitet och arbetsmiljöfrågor kopplas ihop, diskuteras och kan bli föremål för konkreta förbättringar (t.ex. resursförstärkning). Samtidigt som detta görs på verksamhetsnivå indikerar resultaten att det fortfarande finns "stuprörstänkande" på högre nivåer i kommunen där personal- och verksamhetsfrågor separeras och hanteras av olika politiska nämnder och organisatoriska enheter.

  • 11.
    Larsson, Robert
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Astvik, Wanja
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Welander, Jonas
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Towards sustainable social services? A case study of work environment and management control integration in a municipal organisation2018In: Proceedings of the 13th European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology: Adapting to rapid changes in today's workplace / [ed] Kevin Teoh, Nathalie Saade, Vlad Dediu, Juliet Hassard, and Luis Torres, Nottingham: EAOHP , 2018, p. 249-249Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 12.
    Melin, Marika
    et al.
    Stockholms Universitet, Sweden.
    Astvik, Wanja
    Stockholms Universitet, Sweden.
    Bernhard-Oettel, Claudia
    Stockholms universtitet, Sweden.
    New work demands in higher education. A study of the relationship between excessive workload, coping strategies and subsequent health among academic staff2014In: Quality in Higher Education, ISSN 1353-8322, E-ISSN 1470-1081, Vol. 20, no 3, p. 290-308Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigates the relationship between the work conditions in higher education work settings, the academic staff’s strategies for handling excessive workload and impact on well-being and work-life balance. The results show that there is a risk that staff in academic work places will start using compensatory coping strategies to deal with excessive demands and that this might seriously impair their health. The compensatory strategy cluster emerged as a ‘risk group’ among the three identified strategy clusters, having a lower work-life balance and suffering from stress-related symptoms more often than the other two strategy clusters. The results also show that high educational level, management position and wide discretion as regards regulation of work in time and space (when and where to work) are factors that might contribute to a lower work-life balance. In practice, the results can contribute to create more sustainable work environments by detecting risk behaviours and risk factors.

  • 13.
    Mellner, Christin
    et al.
    Psykologiska institutionen, Stockholms Universitet.
    Astvik, Wanja
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Aronsson, Gunnar
    Psykologiska institutionen, Stockholms Universitet.
    Vägar tillbaka: -En uppföljningsstudie av psykologiska och praktiska förutsättningar för återgång i arbete efter långtidssjukskrivning med stöd av en arbetsgivarring2009Report (Other academic)
  • 14.
    Welander, Jonas
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Astvik, Wanja
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Hellgren, Johnny
    Stockholms universitet, Sweden.
    Stressrelaterad ohälsa och arbetstrivsel hos medarbetare och chefer i socialtjänsten2017In: Arbetsmarknad & Arbetsliv, ISSN 1400-9692, Vol. 23, no 2, p. 8-26Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Situationen inom svensk socialtjänst framstår som särskilt problematisk med svåra arbetsvillkor, stressrelaterad ohälsa och höga ohälsotal. Baserat på en nationell enkätstudie med myndighetsutövande medarbetare och chefer i socialtjänsten undersöks betydelsen av arbetsvillkor och organisatoriska faktorer för ohälsa och arbetstrivsel. Resultaten visar bland annat att rimliga arbetskrav, i synnerhet kvantitativa krav, samt organisationens öppenhet har stor betydelse för ohälsa och arbetstrivsel hos både medarbetare och chefer inom socialtjänsten.

  • 15.
    Welander, Jonas
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Astvik, Wanja
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Isaksson, Kerstin
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Corrosion of trust: Violation of psychological contracts as a reason for turnover amongst social workers2017In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 67-79, article id ISSN: 2156-857XArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Staff shortage in the social sector is a serious problem in several countriesand the high turnover rate of professional social workers presents a majorchallenge to the professional field. Social workers distinguish themselves asa particularly exposed occupational group, reporting higher workloads andmore difficult demands in comparison with other human service workers.Inspired by psychological contract theory, the objective of this study wasto describe social workers’ turnover processes that lead to a decision to quitafter a perceived violation of a psychological contract. Thirty-one interviewswere conducted with former statutory social workers who had voluntarilyresigned from their jobs during the preceding year. The analysis identifiedfour themes in the turnover processes stemming from perceptions oforganisational failure to fulfil promises concerning the provision of: (1) abalance between demands and resources at work, (2) a balance betweenefforts and rewards, (3) organisational professional ethics, and (4) responsiblehuman resource practices. The results highlight how organisational responsesto work-related dissatisfactions by social workers seem to enhance theirconviction of psychological contract breaches and perceptions of contractviolations, resulting in turnover. An important conclusion is that public sectoremployers need to reconsider their personnel strategies and practices inorder to start rebuilding trust and creating a more positive work climate.

  • 16.
    Welander, Jonas
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Astvik, Wanja
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Isaksson, Kerstin
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Exit, silence and loyalty among social workers and managers in the Swedish social services2017Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Staff shortage in the social sector is a serious problem in several countriesand the high turnover rate of professional social workers presents a majorchallenge to the professional field. Social workers distinguish themselves asa particularly exposed occupational group, reporting higher workloads andmore difficult demands in comparison with other human service workers.Inspired by psychological contract theory, the objective of this study wasto describe social workers’ turnover processes that lead to a decision to quitafter a perceived violation of a psychological contract. Thirty-one interviewswere conducted with former statutory social workers who had voluntarilyresigned from their jobs during the preceding year. The analysis identifiedfour themes in the turnover processes stemming from perceptions oforganisational failure to fulfil promises concerning the provision of: (1) abalance between demands and resources at work, (2) a balance betweenefforts and rewards, (3) organisational professional ethics, and (4) responsiblehuman resource practices. The results highlight how organisational responsesto work-related dissatisfactions by social workers seem to enhance theirconviction of psychological contract breaches and perceptions of contractviolations, resulting in turnover. An important conclusion is that public sectoremployers need to reconsider their personnel strategies and practices inorder to start rebuilding trust and creating a more positive work climate.

  • 17.
    Welander, Jonas
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Astvik, Wanja
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Isaksson, Kerstin
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Exit, silence and loyalty in the Swedish social services – the importance of opennessIn: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, article id .Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The advent of New Public Management in Sweden has affected thesocial services in terms of increased workload, more conflicting demandsand a reduction in professional autonomy. This study contributes to theunderstanding of how various job demands, job resources and theorganisational factor of openness influence the exit, silence and loyaltystrategies amongst social workers and managers in the Swedish socialservices. Regression analyses of national web questionnaire data gatheredfrom 4,068 social workers and 432 managers have revealed that: (1)role conflicts associated positively with exit and negatively with loyalty,(2) job autonomy was negatively related to silence and positively relatedto loyalty in both groups, (3) openness had a high explanatory value inall of the outcome variables for both groups and (4) openness was apotential mediator between role conflicts and all of the dependentvariables. A conclusion is that if organisations want social workers andmanagers to stop considering exit, want to counteract silence and wantto improve loyalty, management strategies need to be developed thatreduce the conflicting demands and create organisational structures thatfacilitate a continuous and open dialogue between the strategic andoperational levels of the organisation.

  • 18.
    Welander, Jonas
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Astvik, Wanja
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Larsson, Robert
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    What makes them stay: A longitudinal study of work conditions predicting social workers’ actual behavior to stay in their organization.2018In: Proceedings of the 13th European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology: Adapting to rapid changes in today's workplace. / [ed] Kevin Teoh, Nathalie Saade, Vlad Dediu, Juliet Hassard, and Luis Torres, Nottingham: EAOHP , 2018, p. 301-302Conference paper (Refereed)
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