Effort-reward imbalance among nurses in stable countries and in countries in transition

Int J Occup Environ Health. Oct-Dec 2004;10(4):401-8. doi: 10.1179/oeh.2004.10.4.401.


The effort-reward imbalance (ERI) model was used to analyze burnout and intention to leave the nursing profession (ITL) in nurses (n = 21,229) in seven European countries, as part of the NEXT-Study. Data were gathered using the short form of the ERI questionnaire. Burnout was assessed using the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory. Multivariate logistic regression analysis controlled for age and gender. ERI was very high in Poland, Germany, Italy, and Slovakia. High ERI was associated with burnout. Odds ratios (ORs) ranged from 2.6 to 13.2 for ERI and from 3.0 to 5.5 for overcommitment (OC). Nurses with high ERI also had high ORs for ITL (2.6-5.7). The association of OC and ITL was weaker (1.1-1.7). The strong and consistent associations of ERI model results with psychological health and with ITL support the relevance of the model for examining different outcome levels. Nurses in transitional countries, as expected, experienced high ERI. High ERI in stable countries suggests that their economic sectors, particularly health care, may be in transition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Economics
  • Europe
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Nurses*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Personnel Turnover
  • Stress, Psychological*