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      Burnout syndrome and workplace violence among nursing staff: a cross-sectional study


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          ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Among healthcare professionals, nursing workers are the most prone to becoming victims of workplace violence and present the highest burnout levels. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the association between burnout syndrome and workplace violence among nursing workers. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study carried out at a teaching hospital in southern Brazil. METHODS: This study involved 242 nursing workers. We collected data over a six-month period using a sociodemographic and occupational survey, the Survey Questionnaire Workplace Violence in the Health Sector and the Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey. For occupational violence, we selected the Survey Questionnaire Workplace Violence in the Health Sector. Burnout syndrome was evaluated using the Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey. The data were analyzed in the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Categorical variables were described as absolute and relative frequencies and numerical variables in terms of central trend and dispersion measurements. For data analysis, we applied descriptive statistics and multiple logistic regression. RESULTS: The multiple models indicated that the workers who had experienced verbal abuse, physical violence and concern about workplace violence over the past 12 months had significantly higher chances of presenting high emotional exhaustion (P < 0.05) and depersonalization (P < 0.05) and low professional accomplishment (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Occurrence of violence significantly increased the chances of great emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and low professional achievement, within burnout syndrome. Therefore, workplace violence prevention strategies need to be put in place to provide workers with a safe workplace in which to conduct their activities.

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          Most cited references54

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          Understanding the burnout experience: recent research and its implications for psychiatry.

          The experience of burnout has been the focus of much research during the past few decades. Measures have been developed, as have various theoretical models, and research studies from many countries have contributed to a better understanding of the causes and consequences of this occupationally-specific dysphoria. The majority of this work has focused on human service occupations, and particularly health care. Research on the burnout experience for psychiatrists mirrors much of the broader literature, in terms of both sources and outcomes of burnout. But it has also identified some of the unique stressors that mental health professionals face when they are dealing with especially difficult or violent clients. Current issues of particular relevance for psychiatry include the links between burnout and mental illness, the attempts to redefine burnout as simply exhaustion, and the relative dearth of evaluative research on potential interventions to treat and/or prevent burnout. Given that the treatment goal for burnout is usually to enable people to return to their job, and to be successful in their work, psychiatry could make an important contribution by identifying the treatment strategies that would be most effective in achieving that goal.
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            Nurse exposure to physical and nonphysical violence, bullying, and sexual harassment: a quantitative review.

            This paper provides a quantitative review that estimates exposure rates by type of violence, setting, source, and world region.
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              A National Study on Nurses’ Exposure to Occupational Violence in Lebanon: Prevalence, Consequences and Associated Factors

              Background Healthcare institutions have commonly reported exposure of employees, particularly nurses, to high levels of occupational violence. Despite such evidence in the Middle East Region, there is a dearth of national studies that have systematically investigated this phenomenon. This study investigates the prevalence, characteristics, consequences and factors associated with nurses’ exposure to occupational violence in Lebanon. Methods A cross-sectional design was utilized to survey a nationally representative sample of 915 nurses registered with the Order of Nurses in Lebanon. Stratified random sampling by governorate was utilized. Individually-mailed questionnaires collected information on exposure to violence, degree of burnout and demographic/professional background. The main outcome variables were exposure to verbal abuse (never, 1–3, 4–9 and 10+ times) and physical violence (never, ever) over the past 12-months. Descriptive statistics were used to estimate prevalence of violence. Multivariable, binomial and multinomial regression models were carried out to investigate the correlates of exposure to verbal abuse and physical violence, respectively. Results Response rate was 64.8%. Over the last year, prevalence of nurses’ exposure to verbal abuse was 62%, (CI: 58–65%) and physical violence was 10%, (CI: 8–13%). Among respondents, 31.7% of nurses indicated likelihood to quit their jobs and 22.3% were undetermined. Furthermore, 54.1% reported high levels of emotional exhaustion and 28.8% reported high levels of depersonalization. Compared to nurses with no exposure to verbal abuse, nurses reporting high exposure had high levels of emotional exhaustion (OR:6.4; CI:1.76–23.32), depersonalization (OR:6.8; CI: 3–15) and intention to quit job (OR:3.9; CI: 1.8–8.3). They further reported absence of anti-violence policies at their institutions (OR: 3; CI: 1.5–6.3). Nurses that were ever exposed to physical violence were more likely to be males (OR: 2.2; CI: 1.1–4.3), working day and night shifts (OR: 2.8; CI: 1.4–5.5) and subject to ten or more incidents of verbal abuse per year (OR: 46.7; CI: 10.1–214). Conclusions An alarming two-thirds of respondents reported exposure to verbal abuse which was found to be a significant predictor of the three subscales of burnout, intention to quit and exposure to physical violence. The prevalence of exposure to physical violence is disconcerting due to its severe consequences. Policy and decision-makers are urged to use study findings for policy and practice interventions to create safe work environments conducive to nurses’ productivity and retention.

                Author and article information

                Sao Paulo Medical Journal
                Sao Paulo Med. J.
                Associação Paulista de Medicina - APM (São Paulo, SP, Brazil )
                February 2022
                : 140
                : 1
                : 101-107
                [3] Bandeirantes orgnameUniversidade Estadual do Norte do Paraná orgdiv1Department of Nursing Brazil
                [4] Londrina Paraná orgnameUniversidade Estadual de Londrina orgdiv1Department of Nursing Brazil
                [2] Bandeirantes orgnameUniversidade Estadual do Norte do Paraná orgdiv1Department of Nursing Brazil
                [1] Londrina Paraná orgnameUniversidade Estadual de Londrina orgdiv1Núcleo de Estudos da Saúde do Trabalhador Brazil
                S1516-31802022000100101 S1516-3180(22)14000100101

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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