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Revista Española de Salud Pública

versión On-line ISSN 2173-9110versión impresa ISSN 1135-5727


ATANCE MARTINEZ, Juan Carlos. Epidemiological aspects of the Burnout syndrome in health workers. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 1997, vol.71, n.3, pp.293-303. ISSN 2173-9110.

BACKGROUND: Burnout Syndrome is claimed to be the most probable cause of the lack of motivation suffered by professional health workers nowadays. This suggests that the syndrome may be linked to the high levels of absenteeism from work among this professional group. The study aims to provide a number of descriptions of the universal epidemiological variables that would allow us to draw up a risk profile for this profession. METHOD: We studied a random sample of 294 professionals working in the primary specialised health sector to which we applied the Burnout Syndrome measurement instrument (Maslach Burnout Inventory) which was self-administered. Descriptive statistics were gathered with a comparison of average values for socio-demographic variables (P<0.05) using Epiinfo V.60 and SPSS PC.W. RESULTS: We obtained 87.76% responses compared with 12.23% losses. This sample gave us a 95% reliability level with a 5% error margin. We obtained significant differences in line with sex, age, marital status, length of service in the workplace, number of workers, place of work, number of patients under their responsibility, weekly working hours, patient interaction time. The Burnout average was 47.16 " 7.93, with the highest proportions corresponding to emotional fatigue and lack of self-fulfilment. CONCLUSIONS: The epidemiological risk profile obtained would be as follows: a female, over 44 years old, with no stable partner, with more than 19 years service in the profession and more than 11 at that particular workplace, working in a specialised department, with more than 21 patients under her responsibility, devoting more than 70% of the working day to these patients and with a working week of 36-40 hours.

Palabras clave : Burnout; Health workers; Epidemiology; Socio-demographic variables; Area.

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