Job satisfaction, burnout and turnover intention in occupational therapists working in mental health

Justin Newton Scanlan, Megan Still
Australian Occupational Therapy Journal 2013, 60 (5): 310-8

BACKGROUND/AIM: Employee wellbeing is an important issue for mental health services. Poor employee wellbeing (i.e., high levels of burnout or low job satisfaction) is associated with poorer consumer outcomes and higher staff turnover. This study set out to examine factors related to job satisfaction, turnover intention and burnout in a group of occupational therapists in mental health.

METHOD: Thirty-four occupational therapists (response rate approximately 60%) in a metropolitan public mental health service participated in a whole-of-service workforce survey. The survey included measures of job satisfaction, turnover intention, burnout, job hindrances, job challenges and job resources and questions about positive and negative aspects of positions and factors that attracted employees to their current position.

RESULTS: Burnout was associated with lower job satisfaction and higher turnover intention. Higher job satisfaction was associated with rewards (remuneration and recognition) as well as cognitively challenging work. The variables most significantly associated with poorer wellbeing (higher turnover intention and burnout) were recipient contact demands (perception that contact with service users or families was demanding), and feelings of stress or fatigue.

CONCLUSION: This study provides a detailed analysis of factors associated with job satisfaction, turnover intention and burnout in a group of occupational therapists working in mental health. To promote workforce wellbeing and enhanced retention, interventions to minimise burnout should be implemented and evaluated. These strategies should focus on enhancing job resources such as supervisor support, feedback and participation in decision making as well as building the personal resilience of occupational therapists working in mental health.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.