Burnout syndrome--assessment of a stressful job among intensive care staff

Coll Antropol. 2006 Mar;30(1):131-5.


The purpose of the study was to investigate the degree of burnout experienced by intensive care staff particularly, in Medical (MICU) and Surgical Intensive Care Units (SICU) General Hospital "Sveti Duh", Zagreb. A sample group of 41 emergency physicians and nurses from MICU and 30 from SICU was tested. The survey included demographic data and Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) scoring test identified by the three main components associated with burnout: emotional exhaustion (MBI-EE), depersonalization (MBI-DEP), and personal accomplishment (MBI-PA) were assessed using 22-item questionnaire. The degrees of burnout were stratified into low, moderate, and high range. Mean total MBI (X +/- SD) were high in both groups: higher for the MICU (65.5 +/- 6.7) than for SICU staff (55.7 +/- 3.8, p < 0.05). MICU staff showed moderate degree of MBI-EE (24.9 +/- 11.2), MBI-DEP (6.0 +/- 5.6), and as well as MBI-PA (34.4 +/- 8.8). The same parameters showed better results among SICU staff: low degree of MBI-EE (17.1 +/- 5.2), as well as low level of MBI-DEP (5.2 +/- 5.0), and moderate degree of MBI-PA (33.7 +/- 9.8). The differences between the groups was statistically significant only for the total MBI, and for MBI-EE (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences between MICU and SICU staff for MBI-DEP or MBI-PA parameters. Overall job burnout represented in a moderate degree. The presence of burnout is a serious phenomenon, because it can lead to psychosomatic complaints, work-associated withdrawal behaviour, and a lower quality of care at intensive care units. Early recognition of burnout phenomenon as a result of prolonged stress and frustration among intensive care staff, contributes to better professional behavior, organizational structure changes in the work environment and better health care quality for critically ill patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional*
  • Croatia
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires