Academic report on burnout among Japanese nurses

Authors


Abstract

Aim:  Japanese nurses have increasingly experienced “burnout” in the past several years. Studies on Japanese nurses are required in order to explore how to prevent nursing burnout. The objectives of this report were to: (i) introduce the concept, definition, and measurement of burnout; (ii) look at an overview of the prevalence, possible causes, and consequences of burnout among Japanese nurses; and (iii) explore how to prevent burnout among nurses.

Methods:  The authors and co-researchers have been studying burnout among Japanese workers for more than 15 years. Therefore, previously performed studies were reviewed and summarized.

Results:  In Japan, approximately 36% of human services professionals, such as nurses, were burned out compared to 18% of civil servants, and 12% of company employees. It was quite obvious that nurses are prone to burnout. The possible causes and consequences of burnout among Japanese nurses were reviewed. Excessive workloads and interpersonal conflict in the workplace were possible causes of burnout among Japanese nurses. The consequences of nurse burnout are potentially very serious, including medical accidents/errors. Issues to prevent nursing burnout were then reviewed. Enhancement of cognitive coping skills for female nurses and problem-solving skills for male nurses could contribute to prevention of burnout in nurses.

Conclusion:  The authors' previous study revealed that the new model of the organizational context of burnout developed by Leiter and Maslach could be applied to Japanese. Further examination is needed. This report supports the call to scale up burnout prevention strategy for Japanese nurses.

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