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The Relationship Between Rest Breaks and Professional Burnout Among Nurses.

Critical Care Nurse 2023 December 2
BACKGROUND: Professional burnout is a well-studied phenomenon marked by feelings of depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, and decreased accomplishment. Affecting nearly half of all nurses, burnout presents a threat to health outcomes of the nurse, patient, organization, and society. Despite a growing literature on professional burnout, specific interventions that address key contributing factors have not been well described.

OBJECTIVE: The primary aim of this integrative literature review was to evaluate the relationship between rest breaks and professional burnout among registered nurses.

METHODS: A literature search was performed in the APA (American Psychological Association) PsycInfo, CINAHL (Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature), Cochrane Library, Embase, and PubMed databases using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses as a reporting guideline.

RESULTS: Five articles were selected for final synthesis; 1 was of "high" quality and 4 were of "good" quality. The literature showed that rest breaks were protective against professional burnout among registered nurses, especially when integrated with nursing management support, staffing support, and complementary strategies. Several threats to validity were identified as limitations among the articles selected for final synthesis.

CONCLUSIONS: Rest breaks are effective in decreasing professional burnout among registered nurses, especially when combined with management support, staffing support, and complementary strategies. Future research should focus on a deeper evaluation of staffing support models, as well as identifying how nursing leaders can integrate complementary strategies across health care settings to reduce burnout.

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