Emotional burnout syndrome (BS) is a state of emotional, mental exhaustion, physical fatigue that occurs due to chronic stress at work. Workers in medical institutions often face increased sources of stress due to the peculiarities of their profession. It is especially true for nurses, who are regularly in close contact with patients and need to be penetrated by their problems. The conditions that require them to be highly empathic significantly contribute to emotional burnout. The purpose of the study by Ribeiro et al. (2021) was to evaluate the prevalence and factors associated with BS and quality of life among nursing professionals. The purpose was driven by the need to assess nurses’ quality of life and reflect on the suggestion of measures to protect their health.
The study was conducted with a quantitative approach in two emergency departments. These are the conditions that can create additional stress at work, making nurses feel uncomfortable. The study was guided by the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Tool Epidemiology (Ribeiro et al., 2021). Due to the cross-sectional approach and large representative sample, the study is academically necessary to clarify the causes of burnout.
The study included all individuals over 18 years who had more than six months of work experience and were at work at the time of data collection. The sample consisted of nurses and technicians, with gender and age not distinguishing criteria (Ribeiro et al., 2021). The total number of employees was 83 people; it did not include people who already had BS in their diagnosis. The exclusion of individuals with BS avoided the influence of emotional destabilization, which can be related to the employee’s past negative experiences.
Three instruments were used to describe and characterize the sample and then analyze it. The researchers used a questionnaire to describe the population: the questionnaire provides an opportunity to assess several traditional burnout criteria. The questionnaire allowed extracting independent variables: gender, age, education, marital status, and income. The research group developed a scale, “BS Evaluation – Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI),” which allowed assessing the frequency of emotions indicated in the questionnaire (Ribeiro et al., 2021). The scale identified three conceptual dimensions: exhaustion, self-actualization, and depersonalization. Finally, the SF-36 questionnaire assessed the quality of life, which set physiological, social, and psycho-emotional conditions.
Summary of Findings
The following results were analyzed by socio-demographic characteristics and their relation to burnout syndrome. Older individuals were found to have the syndrome in 15% of cases (n=6) (Ribeiro et al., 2021). In general, women are more often exposed to burnout (met in 11 people), and employees with children or not in a relationship have burnout in about the same percentage of cases. The BS scale found that employees had low professional effectiveness in 78.3% of cases, depersonalization in half of the cases, and about the same level of emotional exhaustion. Significant significance with an abnormal distribution was observed in pain, vitality, and social conditions indicators.
Recommendations for Potential Application in Future Practice
The study does an excellent job of demonstrating which factors are more influential in the development of BS: age, marital and professional status. In addition, the environment in which the study was conducted best shows how the work environment affects the syndrome. Although the study showed differences, it did not indicate why pain and vitality were the limiting criteria. Another factor limiting the study is the lack of data in the survey. Nevertheless, the article is meaningful for global research because it describes private cases in the emergency department. The study can be recommended for senior nurses to develop plans to prevent emotional burnout.
Ribeiro, E. K. A., Santos, R.C., Araújo-Monteiro, G. K.N., Brandão, B. M. L. S., Silva, J. C. & Souto R. Q. (2021). Influence of burnout syndrome on the quality of life of nursing professionals: quantitative study. Rev Bras Enferm, 74(3). Web.