Burnout and work engagement in occupational therapists

Poulsen, Anne, Meredith, Pamela, Khan, Asad, Henderson, Julie, Castrisos, Veronica, & Khan, Shanchita R. (2014) Burnout and work engagement in occupational therapists. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 77(3), pp. 156-164.

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Work engagement, characterized by vigour, dedication, and absorption, is often perceived as the opposite of burnout. Occupational therapists with burnout feel exhausted and disengaged from their work. This study aims to investigate demographic and work-related psychosocial factors associated with burnout and work engagement.


A cross-sectional postal survey of 951 occupational therapists was conducted.


Two models representing factors associated with burnout (F(15,871) = 28.01, p < .001) and work engagement (F(10,852) = 16.15, p < .001) accounted for 32.54% and 15.93% of the variance respectively. Burnout and work engagement were inversely associated (χ2(n = 941) = 55.16, p < .001).


Factors associated with burnout and work engagement were identified. The variables associated with burnout included: low psychological detachment from work during out-of-work hours, low income satisfaction, perceived work overload, difficulty saying ‘no’, < 10 years' experience, low frequency of having a ‘belly laugh’, and not having children. High levels of work engagement were reported by therapists with the following: low psychological detachment from work, high income satisfaction, postgraduate qualifications, > 40 hours work/week, high frequency of having a ‘belly laugh’, and having children. Understanding the factors associated with burnout and work engagement provides prerequisite information to inform strategies aimed at building healthy workforces.

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ID Code: 88791
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Job satisfaction, stress, workforce, psychological
DOI: 10.4276/030802214X13941036266621
ISSN: 0308-0226
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 28 Oct 2015 04:34
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2015 04:34

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