Burnout among physicians and nurses working in oncology

Med Lav. 2012 Mar-Apr;103(2):96-105.


Background: The phenomenon of Burnout is an important occupational problem which affects those working in the "helping professions" to a greater degree since they have continuous and constant contact with suffering patients.

Aims: We aimed to assess the Burnout level and its correlation with organizational stressors.

Methods: The aim was achieved through administration of a questionnaire, the organizational check-up survey (OCS) among 80 physicians and 102 nurses working in a cancer institute.

Results: The results showed significant levels of Burnout (Exhaustion and Cynicism) associated with perceived discrepancy between the worker's values and those promoted by the hospital management, mainly among longer serving staff work overload reported by staff working in the intensive care and medical oncology departments; lack of recognition reported by permanent staff and also those who had no contact with the patients.

Conclusions: The study confirmed the multiple factors involved in the phenomenon of Burnout and the usefulness of the OCS tool for the diagnosis and management of Burnout via appropriate intervention programmes. Furthermore, it also seemed to confirm the need to pay particular attention to the wellbeing of health professionals working in care and treatment of cancer patients via individual measures associated with other organizational measures.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / rehabilitation
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Oncology Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Physicians / statistics & numerical data*
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workload*
  • Workplace