Determinants of burnout among public hospital nurses

Spooner-Lane, Rebecca S. & Patton, Wendy A. (2007) Determinants of burnout among public hospital nurses. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 25(1), pp. 8-16.


Objective: The present study extends our knowledge of the main determinants of burnout among nurses working in public hospitals and investigates the impact of work support on the stress-burnout relationship. Design: A cross-sectional, survey design. Setting: Data were collected from three public hospitals in south east Queensland, Australia. Subjects: A convenience sample of 273 nursing staff (235 females, 38 males) participated in the study. Main outcome measures: The influence of work stressors (i.e., job-specific stressors and role stressors) and work support (i.e., supervisor and coworker support) on burnout amongst public hospital nurses. Results: Overall, nurses reported moderate levels of burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and reduced personal accomplishment). Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that sociodemographic factors play a small, but significant role in predicting burnout. Role Overload, Job Conflicts and Role Boundary contributed to higher levels of Emotional Exhaustion. Role Boundary and Professional Uncertainty contributed to higher levels of Depersonalisation and Role Boundary and Role Ambiguity contributed to lower levels of Personal Accomplishment. Only Supervisor Support had a significant main effect on Depersonalisation and Personal Accomplishment. No evidence was found to indicate that work support had a buffering effect on the stress-burnout relationship. Conclusions: The results highlight the need for organisational interventions to reduce the workload placed upon nurses. Supervisors are in a better position than coworkers to reduce burnout among nurses by clearly outlining the boundaries and expectations of the nursing role.

Impact and interest:

28 citations in Scopus
16 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 10086
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: job, specific stressors, role stressors, organisational support, burnout
ISSN: 1447-4328
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Australian Nursing Federation
Deposited On: 11 Oct 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:33

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