Oncology staff: burnout, job satisfaction and coping with stress

Hulya Guveli, Dilek Anuk, Serap Oflaz, Murat Emin Guveli, Nazmiye Kocaman Yildirim, Mine Ozkan, Sedat Ozkan
Psycho-oncology 2015, 24 (8): 926-31

OBJECTIVE: The oncology staff is at high risk for developing psychological disorders and burnout. In this study, we aimed to evaluate their burnout levels, job satisfaction, psychological statement and ways of coping with stress and the relationship between these variables and their sociodemographic and occupational characteristics.

METHODS: Among all health workers at the Istanbul University Institute, of Oncology, 159 were included in the study. A sociodemographic data form, the Maslach Burnout Inventory, the Minnesota Job Satisfaction Questionnaire, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and the Styles of Coping Inventory-Short Form were used to evaluate burnout and its contributing factors.

RESULTS: High levels of 'emotional exhaustion', 'depersonalization' and 'low sense of personal accomplishment' were determined in 30.2%, 8.2% and 44% of all participants, respectively. The variables that affected emotional exhaustion were assessed by logistic regression analysis. Accordingly, the ratio of emotional exhaustion was approximately 10 times higher in those for whom job stress was the most important stress factor compared with those who indicated nonjob stress for each one point increase on the GHQ and depersonalization scores, which were other predictors, with odds ratio (OR) : 1.23, p = 0.006 and OR : 1.67, p < 0.001, respectively. A negative correlation was detected between adaptive coping styles and 'burnout,' and a positive correlation was found between maladaptive coping strategies and exhaustion.

CONCLUSIONS: It is necessary to monitor the psychological status of employees in oncology units with scanning tools such as GHQ to understand their job stress perceptions and to help them develop adaptive coping methods.

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