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Arch Hellen Med, 2007, 24(Supplement 1):75-84


Exploring the effect of professional burnout on health-related quality of life in Greek nurses

1National and Capodistrian University of Athens, Faculty of Nursing, Athens,
2Hellenic Open University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Patras, Greece

OBJECTIVE Many studies have demonstrated that nurses often suffer from professional burnout. Job-induced stress affects their physical and mental well-being and influences negatively both health-related quality of life and job performance. The purpose of this study was to investigate the coexistence potential correlation of these phenomena in a representative sample of Greek nurses.

METHOD The sample comprised 347 nurses, and data collection was performed via completion of two well-known psychometric instruments, the SF-36 health survey and the Maslach burnout inventory (MBI), both of which have been translated and validated for use with Greek samples. Correlation coefficients were computed to indicate the strength and direction of relationships between variables, and parametric tests (t-test, ANOVA) were performed to ascertain the statistical significance of the observed score differences.

RESULTS SF-36 and MBI scales showed high internal consistency reliability. Strong positive correlations (P<0.01) were observed between MBI factors (emotional burnout, depersonalization and lack of achievement) and SF-36 scales addressing mostly mental health, i.e. mental health, role emotional, social functioning and vitality. The physical health scales, i.e. physical functioning, role physical, bodily pain and general health, demonstrated significant associations (P<0.01) only with emotional burnout.

CONCLUSIONS The findings confirm the initial hypothesis that the physical and mental health of nurses is affected by the stress they experience in the workplace. Taking into consideration also the observed effects of demographic and work-related factors on health-related quality of life, proposals are formulated to prevent professional burnout at the individual nurse level and to address the issue in terms of policy making.

Key words: Health-related quality of life, Maslach burnout inventory, Nurses, Professional burnout, SF-36.

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