ABSTRACT: Few data are available regarding the prevalence of burnout among dialysis health care workers. Aims of the present study were to assess and compare burnout levels in a sample of nurses and physicians working in dialysis units, and to investigate their relationships with quality of life, in a cross-sectional observational study.
A total of 344 workers from 10 dialysis centres in Northern Italy completed a battery of questionnaires including the Maslach Burnout Inventory, the MOS-36 Item Short Form Health Survey [SF36: physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) component scores] and the 30-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ30). Data on social and demographic characteristics and working conditions were also collected. General Estimating Equations models were used for the analysis.
Overall, burnout scores were lower than the Italian normative sample, with no significant differences between physicians and nurses. However, 30% of nurses had high emotional exhaustion vs 18% of physicians (adjusted OR 2.38, P = 0.003). Emotional exhaustion was also predicted by number of worked hours and months worked in dialysis in the previous 2 years. Depersonalisation was predicted by male gender and bad relationship with coworkers. Having no children and having a permanent hospital position predicted low personal accomplishment. PCS was lower in nurses (50.0 vs 53.3, P < 0.001), while no significant difference was found for MCS and GHQ30. Lower PCS was associated with emotional exhaustion (P = 0.007) and GHQ30 > 5 with depersonalization (P = 0.032).
Although burnout is not a general problem in dialysis health care providers, a subgroup of them may be identified, who would benefit from supportive measures to prevent this condition. Nurses appeared more burned-out in the emotional exhaustion scale than physicians.
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 08/2007; 22(8):2283-90. · 3.40 Impact Factor