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Article

Burnout, Attachment and Mentalization in Nursing Students and Nurse Professionals

1
Infermi Hospital of Rimini, 47923 Rimini, Italy
2
Department of Experimental, Diagnostic, and Specialty Medicine (DIMES), S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Alma Mater University of Bologna, 40138 Bologna, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alyx Taylor
Healthcare 2021, 9(11), 1576; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9111576
Received: 24 October 2021 / Revised: 15 November 2021 / Accepted: 15 November 2021 / Published: 18 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Stress Management for Health)
(1) Background. In caretaking professions, attachment style and mentalization capacities are essential factors for establishing an effective caretaker–patient relationship and for buffering burnout. While attachment avoidance and dependency are considered risk factors for burnout, impairment in mentalization capacity is associated with psychological distress and ineffective emotion regulation. (2) Objective: Evaluating the attachment style and mentalization capacity in nurse professionals and nursing students. We further investigated the impact of these factors on burnout in professional nurses. (3) Method: 94 nursing students and 94 controls and 34 professional nurses completed the Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ) and the Reflective Functioning Questionnaire (RFQ). For professional nurses, the Maslach’s Burnout Inventory (MBI) was also administered. (4) Results: Nursing students exhibited lower scores in secure attachment and higher scores in anxiety over relationships compared to controls while no difference in mentalization capacity was found between both groups. Importantly, attachment anxiety resulted a significant predictor of burnout in professional nurses. (5) Conclusions: Nursing students might compensate their attachment insecurity with high mentalization. Attachment security may play a protective role against burnout in the professional nurses. Education programs aimed at enhancing mentalizing abilities might facilitate nursing students’ entrance in the forthcoming clinical environment and practice. Implementing training strategies based on attachment theory may contribute to burnout prevention in nurse professionals. View Full-Text
Keywords: nursing students; professional nurses; attachment style; mentalization; burnout nursing students; professional nurses; attachment style; mentalization; burnout
MDPI and ACS Style

Bordoagni, G.; Fino, E.; Agostini, A. Burnout, Attachment and Mentalization in Nursing Students and Nurse Professionals. Healthcare 2021, 9, 1576. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9111576

AMA Style

Bordoagni G, Fino E, Agostini A. Burnout, Attachment and Mentalization in Nursing Students and Nurse Professionals. Healthcare. 2021; 9(11):1576. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9111576

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bordoagni, Giulia, Edita Fino, and Alessandro Agostini. 2021. "Burnout, Attachment and Mentalization in Nursing Students and Nurse Professionals" Healthcare 9, no. 11: 1576. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9111576

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