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Keywords:

  • burnout;
  • physicians;
  • nurses;
  • cancer;
  • oncology

Abstract

Purpose: Burnout is associated with decreased job performance and commitment, predicts stress-related health problems, and low career satisfaction. The specific objectives in our study were to assess the levels of burnout and to investigate the interrelationships between demographic characteristics and burnout health-care professionals working with cancer patients in Turkey.

Methods: A questionnaire-based study was conducted in 77 physicians and 56 nurses working in an oncology clinic at the university hospital. We used quantitative survey to assess burnout levels in participants as well as sociodemographic variables. Data were collected using a Turkish version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI).

Results: Nurses had significantly higher scores of emotional exhaustion (EE) when compared with the physicians, but no significant difference was found between two groups regarding other burnout components. Significant correlations were found in three different components of the MBI, as well as between each component, age and work experience in nurses and physicians. There were statistical significant differences for each of MBI subscales according to age groups in physicians. EE and depersonalization (D) were significantly higher in the ⩽29 years of age group than in the older age groups, while personal accomplishment (PA) score was significantly lower in this age group. EE, D, PA were significantly higher in single physicians compared with married physicians.

Conclusions: Low level of PA was relatively high among Turkish physicians and nurses working in oncology department compared with previous studies. Younger and single physicians had higher burnout levels compared with older and married ones. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.