International Nursing Review

Cover image for Vol. 63 Issue 4

Edited By: Sue Turale

Impact Factor: 1.073

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 54/114 (Nursing (Social Science)); 57/116 (Nursing (Science))

Online ISSN: 1466-7657

Virtual Issue: Nursing Burnout

INR Virtual Issue: Nursing Burnout

Over the last decade, nursing burnout has been increasingly researched around the world in the profession’s attempt to find causes and cures for the shortage and attrition of nurses. Burnout thus deserves to be the topic of this virtual issue for International Nursing Review. Burnout is a serious issue, deriving from emotional exhaustion and other factors, and needs to be addressed using a variety of personal, professional, organizational and policy strategies locally, nationally and internationally. In this issue we present five research articles on nursing burnout from five different countries.

One of the earliest studies on nursing burnout in this journal was published in 2008. Sanraian et al. presented the results of a study of nurses in all public hospitals in Shiraz, Iran, using the Maslach Burnout Inventory and General Health Questionnaire. This instrument has become the most widely used survey to measure nursing burnout around the world. The researchers found that, of the four areas of practice scrutinized, nurses in psychiatry suffered the highest rates of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. In Turkey in 2009, Günüs & Üstün undertook a randomised controlled trial on 108 nurses, and demonstrated that the emotional exhaustion dimension of burnout can be reduced through a coping and social support group intervention. However, 6 months later the emotional exhaustion increased again in the participants and the researchers cautioned that such interventions needed to be repeated.

From Spain, comes the study of Garcia & Calvo (2010). Their sample of 200 nurses were from five hospitals in the north of the country. Survey results indicated that, as a preliminary finding, emotional annoyance leads to the development of emotional exhaustion, a feature of professional burnout. In Germany, Goetz et al. (2012) surveyed 378 intensive care nurses and intermediate nurses in a large hospital, and found that there was a high proportion of the sample that experienced patterns of withdrawal and burnout. In Thailand, Kunavikitikul et al. (2015), used multi-stage sampling to survey 1524 registered nurses in 90 hospitals. What they found was alarming. Most participants worked >16 extended hours a week, and were more likely to perceive adverse patient outcomes as a result. They suffered physical fatigue and high levels of emotional exhaustion, factors that are pivotal in burnout.

These studies are but a small sample of the many that have been published in the international literature. The evidence is clear. Nurses internationally need better working conditions, and emotional and social support to do their jobs, and policy makers need to take heed of this growing evidence to make effective policies for nurses and for health care settings.

Professor Sue Turale
Editor, International Nursing Review

Burnout in hospital nurses: a comparison of internal, surgery, psychiatry and burns wards

An RCT of coping and support groups to reduce burnout among nurses

Work-related behaviour and experience patterns of nurses

Emotional exhaustion of nursing staff: influence of emotional annoyance and resilience

Nurses' extended work hours: Patient, nurse and organizational outcomes