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Keywords:

  • burnout;
  • covariance structure modelling;
  • health care;
  • motivation;
  • nurses;
  • turnover;
  • work stress

Specific determinants of intrinsic work motivation, burnout and turnover intentions: a study among nurses

This study of 156 Dutch general hospital nurses tested a theoretically derived model of specific relationships between work stressors and stress reactions. The model proposes four central domains of the work situation, namely work content, working conditions, social and labour relations, and conditions of employment. In addition, the model proposes three important stress reactions, namely a diminished intrinsic work motivation, occupational burnout and an inclination to leave the job. More specifically, it was hypothesized that (i) intrinsic work motivation is primarily determined by work content variables, (ii) burnout is primarily determined by both work load and limited social support, and (iii) propensity to leave is primarily determined by conditions of employment. All these relationships were simultaneously tested using a structural equations modelling technique. The results of a series of LISREL analyses indicate that the postulated model fits well to the data. The present study used conceptually integrated measures that cover the area of work stress and stress reactions, and provides directions for interventions aimed at preventing or reducing specific negative outcomes of work-related stress in general hospitals.