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Professional burnout and social support in the workplace among hospice nurses and midwives in Poland


Correspondence: Marta Kalicińska, Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Department of Psychology of Life-quality, ul. Chodakowska 19/31 03-815 Warszawa, Poland. Email:


This study was conducted to determine the relationship between burnout and social support received at work among hospice nurses and midwives in Poland to reveal the connection in working conditions differing in terms of exposure to death and dying situation. A total sample of 117 nurses represented nurses working in polish hospice and maternity wards. No significant differences in the burnout scores were found between hospice nurses and midwives with high superiors' support. However, hospice nurses and midwives with low superiors' support differed significantly in almost every dimension of burnout. Further, the results showed that social support significantly predicted burnout only in case of midwives. The current findings emphasize the role of superiors and their ability to provide support. Intervention programmes targeted at preventing or reducing burnout would be especially important for maternity wards, where enhancing support at a workplace could be crucial. Confirming causality in prospective research is necessary.