The mental health of nurses working in long-term healthcare centers is affected by the care they provide to older people with major chronic diseases and comorbidity and this in turn affects the quality of that care. The aim of the study was to investigate dispositional optimism, burnout and self-reported health among nurses working in long-term healthcare centers. A descriptive, cross-sectional survey design was used. Survey questionnaires were distributed in 11 long-term health care centers (n = 156) in Catalonia (Spain). The instruments used were LOT-R (dispositional optimism), MBI (burnout) and EuroQol EQ-5D (self-reported health). Bivariate analyses and multivariate linear regression models were used. Self-reported health correlated directly with dispositional optimism and inversely with emotional exhaustion and cynicism. Better perceived health was independently associated with greater dispositional optimism and social support, lower levels of emotional exhaustion level and the absence of burnout. Dispositional optimism in nurses is associated with a greater perception of health and low levels of emotional exhaustion.
Keywords: burnout; elderly care; health promotion; health psychology; long term care; occupational mental health; optimism.