Burnout and job engagement in UK cancer care staff: how do they relate to job stress and satisfaction and turnover intentions
Ziemen, Silke Laura
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Background: Health care professionals are at risk of developing burnout due to the inherently stressful nature of their work. Burnout has been found to compromise the wellbeing of health care professionals and their ability to provide optimal patient care. Job engagement is proposed to be the antipode of burnout and is concerned with occupational well-being. It is hoped that through a better understanding of factors related to job engagement and burnout, occupational well-being of health care professionals and their ability to care for patients can be improved. Systematic review: A systematic review of the literature on burnout and job engagement in physicians and nurses since 2002 identified seven studies. Findings suggest that burnout and job engagement are independent constructs, albeit negatively related. These findings contribute to the current knowledge about the relationships between burnout and engagement dimensions and provide a framework for interventions aimed at increasing occupational well-being among front line medical professionals. Aims: A study was conducted to assess levels of job engagement and burnout and their relationship with turnover intentions and job satisfaction and stress in the entire workforce of a Cancer Centre in the United Kingdom. Participants and procedure: 150 cancer care workers completed a cross-sectional questionnaire entailing the Maslach Burnout Inventory, the Engagement Indicator, measures of job satisfaction, stress, turnover intentions and demographics. Results: Mean scores of emotional exhaustion did not differ from normative data, while lower levels of depersonalisation and lack of accomplishment were found. Furthermore, engagement scores were significantly higher than in the normative sample and the majority reported high levels of job satisfaction and indicated no turnover intentions. Path analysis provided preliminary support for an exploratory model indicating that engagement mediates the relationship between job stress, burnout and job satisfaction and turnover intentions. Implications: It is important that, despite increasing pressure to reduce costs, service planning is mindful of the continuous and long-term process required to maintain and facilitate engagement and job satisfaction, which appear important to the long term retention of staff. Conclusions: Work overload and a perception of being poorly managed and resourced appear to be risk factors for burnout. However, engaged employees with high levels of personal accomplishment may experience job satisfaction and desire to stay in their jobs despite high levels of occupational stress. Further research is required to identify factors predictive of personal accomplishment and job engagement in oncology services.