Staff burnout in work with long-term patients

Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1979 Jun;30(6):396-8. doi: 10.1176/ps.30.6.396.


The seeds of staff burnout are planted when mental health professionals who work with long-term patients do not recognize that such patients vary greatly in their potential for rehabilitation. This situation leads to unrealistic expectations and frustrations for staff. The concept of normalization, if misapplied, can lead to the same result. Contributing to the frustration is administrative pressure on staff to produce impossible results. Staff's ambivalence about gratifying dependency needs of patients and uncertainty about their own needs and motivations also can lead to burnout.

MeSH terms

  • Community Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Dependency, Psychological
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Long-Term Care
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Patient Care Team
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Rehabilitation / psychology
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational / psychology
  • Workforce