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Stress, burnout, and job dissatisfaction in mental health workers


Rössler, Wulf (2012). Stress, burnout, and job dissatisfaction in mental health workers. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 262(S2):65-69.

Abstract

As the industrial world has transformed toward a service economy, a particular interest has developed in mental health problems at the workplace. The risk for burnout is significantly increased in certain occupations, notably for health care workers. Beyond the effects of an extensive workload, many working hours, or long night shifts, the medical field has specific stressors. Physicians work in emotionally demanding environments with patients, families, or other medical staff. They must make quick decisions while faced with a quite frequent information overload. All of these stressors have to be weighed against a rapidly changing organizational context within medicine. Today, economics objectives have priority over medical values in health care. In principal, mental health workers should experience similar work stressors and the same contextual factors as health professionals from other medical disciplines. However, several studies have identified stressors that are unique to the psychiatric profession. These challenges range from the stigma of this profession, to particularly demanding relationships with patients and difficult interactions with other mental health professionals as part of multidisciplinary teams to personal threats from violent patients. Other sources of stress are a lack of positive feedback, low pay, and a poor work environment. Finally, patient suicide is a major stressor, upon which a majority of mental health workers report post-traumatic stress symptoms.

Abstract

As the industrial world has transformed toward a service economy, a particular interest has developed in mental health problems at the workplace. The risk for burnout is significantly increased in certain occupations, notably for health care workers. Beyond the effects of an extensive workload, many working hours, or long night shifts, the medical field has specific stressors. Physicians work in emotionally demanding environments with patients, families, or other medical staff. They must make quick decisions while faced with a quite frequent information overload. All of these stressors have to be weighed against a rapidly changing organizational context within medicine. Today, economics objectives have priority over medical values in health care. In principal, mental health workers should experience similar work stressors and the same contextual factors as health professionals from other medical disciplines. However, several studies have identified stressors that are unique to the psychiatric profession. These challenges range from the stigma of this profession, to particularly demanding relationships with patients and difficult interactions with other mental health professionals as part of multidisciplinary teams to personal threats from violent patients. Other sources of stress are a lack of positive feedback, low pay, and a poor work environment. Finally, patient suicide is a major stressor, upon which a majority of mental health workers report post-traumatic stress symptoms.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Clinical and Social Psychiatry Zurich West (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:26 Sep 2012 13:33
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:58
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0940-1334
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00406-012-0353-4
PubMed ID:22926058

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