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Keywords:

  • age;
  • burnout;
  • job satisfaction;
  • language;
  • rank

Aim

The aims of this study were to validate the Maslach Burnout Inventory – Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS) for registered nurses in South Africa and to analyse the differences between the levels of burnout of different biographical groups.

Background

The nursing profession is seen as a stressful and emotionally demanding profession, which makes nurses susceptible to burnout.

Method

A cross-sectional survey design with a stratified random sample (= 818) was used. The MBI-HSS and a biographical questionnaire were administered.

Results

Exploratory factor analysis resulted in a three-factor structure of burnout, consisting of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment. Construct equivalence and reliability of the three factors were confirmed. Significant differences were found in burnout levels with regard to language, age, rank, job satisfaction, reciprocity, full-time employment and specialised training.

Conclusions

The MBI-HSS showed acceptable validity and reliability for South African nurses. Burnout is associated with specific factors, including language, age, rank, job satisfaction, reciprocity, full-time employment and specialised training.

Implications for nursing management

The use of the MBI-HSS is recommended to assess burnout of nurses in South Africa. Organisations employing nurses should intervene to prevent and/or manage burnout.