Special Issue "Burnout as a Public Health Problem and Its Approach from Prevention"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Mental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. María del Mar Molero Jurado
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Guest Editor
University of Almería, Ctra. de Sacramento s/n, 04120, Almería, Spain
Interests: psychology of sustainability; engagement work; occupational health; psychosocial; organizational environments; personality; emotional intelligence; burnout; emotions; public health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. María del Carmen Pérez-Fuentes
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Guest Editor
Dr. José Jesús Gázquez Linares
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Guest Editor
1. Department of Psychology, Universidad de Almería, Calle Universidad de Almería, 04120 Almería, Spain
2. Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Av. Pedro de Valdivia 425, Providencia, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Interests: psychology of sustainability; engagement work; occupational health; psychosocial; organizational environments; personality; aggressive behavior; emotional intelligence; emotional intelligence; burnout, public health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Iván Herrera-Peco
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Guest Editor
Health Sciences Collegue, Alfonso X El Sabio University, 28691 Madrid, Spain
Interests: investigation; innovation; education; health; biology; public health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A high percentage of professionals suffer from a series of symptoms closely related to work overloads, pressures of time or responsibility, often leading to intense chronic distress, which could progress into what is known as the Burnout Syndrome. This puts the capacity for adaptation of the professionals affected to the test and can distort the way in which they perceive daily challenges, seeing them as threats and insurmountable obstacles.

Traditionally, burnout research has prioritized the analysis of the syndrome’s risk factors and consequences. This syndrome has recently been classed as a public health problem, and new theoretical approaches have arisen arguing for the study of variables, which insofar as they are related to burnout can take on a protective role against events triggering the syndrome. This refers to a wide spectrum of personal factors, which are essential to personal and professional development, such as, in the field of healthcare, social skills, communication, empathy, resilience, emotional intelligence, coping strategies, stress tolerance, proactive personality, self-esteem, and so forth.

This Special Issue is intended to provide greater visibility to the empirical study of the relationships between the presence of certain protector factors, which can specifically prevent the development or chronification of professional burnout of workers. These are professionals who, due to the characteristics of the setting they act in, perform tasks requiring continuous interaction with colleagues, children, patients, and their family members. In addition to the technical competencies necessary for them to develop their particular profession, it is indispensable to attend to other personal resources, which make these professionals less vulnerable to the effects of the workload, exhaustion, job dissatisfaction, stress, and so on, all of which involves being equipped with personal tools for coping successfully with the demands typical of their job, thereby contributing to improved social relations, performance, teamwork, effective leadership, etc., and in other words, work better adjusted to needs and demands. Furthermore, personal and professional benefits, and, ultimately, the advantages of all of this for the institution or company are outstanding.

Priority will be given to papers presenting the results of data collection and statistical analysis, and theoretical reviews, framed within a systematic methodology or meta-analysis, which are outstanding because of the relevance of their results, will also be considered. Above all, we will prioritize those which present an up-to-date methodological framework, which can be considered a starting point for future lines of research, specifically: proposal of theoretical models, development of evaluation instruments, or design of intervention programs (especially preventive).

Dr. María del Mar Molero Jurado
Dr. María del Carmen Pérez-Fuentes
Dr. José Jesús Gázquez Linares
Dr. Ivan Herrera-Peco
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • burnout syndrome
  • public health
  • prevention
  • risk factors
  • protector factors
  • occupational health
  • workplace
  • personal factors

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
What Protects Youth Residential Caregivers from Burning Out? A Longitudinal Analysis of Individual Resilience
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2212; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072212 (registering DOI) - 25 Mar 2020
Abstract
Background: Professional caregivers are exposed to multiple stressors and have high burnout rates; however, not all individuals are equally susceptible. We investigated the association between resilience and burnout in a Swiss population of professional caregivers working in youth residential care. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Professional caregivers are exposed to multiple stressors and have high burnout rates; however, not all individuals are equally susceptible. We investigated the association between resilience and burnout in a Swiss population of professional caregivers working in youth residential care. Methods: Using a prospective longitudinal study design, participants (n = 159; 57.9% women) reported on burnout symptoms and sense of coherence (SOC), self-efficacy and self-care at four annual sampling points. The associations of individual resilience measures and sociodemographic variables, work-related and personal stressors, and burnout symptoms were assessed. Cox proportional hazards regressions were calculated to compute hazard ratios over the course of three years. Results: Higher SOC, self-efficacy and self-care were related to lower burnout symptoms in work-related and personal domains. Higher SOC and self-efficacy were reported by older caregivers and by those with children. All three resilience measures were highly correlated. A combined model analysis weakened the protective effect of self-efficacy, leaving only SOC and self-care negatively associated with burnout. Conclusion: This longitudinal analysis suggests that SOC and self-caring behaviour in particular protect against burnout. Our findings could have implications for promoting self-care practices, as well as cultivating a meaningful, comprehensible and manageable professional climate in all facets of institutional care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Burnout as a Public Health Problem and Its Approach from Prevention)
Open AccessArticle
Job Burnout and Occupational Stressors among Chinese Healthcare Professionals at County-Level Health Alliances
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 1848; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17061848 - 12 Mar 2020
Abstract
Background: This study aimed to examine the degrees of job burnout and occupational stressors and their associations among healthcare professionals from county-level health alliances in Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, China. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in county-level health alliances in Qinghai Province, China, in [...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to examine the degrees of job burnout and occupational stressors and their associations among healthcare professionals from county-level health alliances in Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, China. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in county-level health alliances in Qinghai Province, China, in November 2018. The Maslach Burnout Inventory—General Survey and the 38-item Chinese version of the “Scale for occupational stressors on clinicians” were used. Medical staff in four health alliances from two counties were invited to complete the questionnaire. Results: A total of 1052 (age: 34.06 ± 9.22 years, 79.1% females) healthcare professionals were included, 68.2% (95% CI: 65.2–71.0%) of the participants had job burnout symptoms. Occupational stressors had positive associations with moderate (OR = 1.06, 95% CI: 1.05–1.07) and serious (OR = 1.15, 95% CI: 1.13–1.19) level of job burnout. Stressors from vocational interest produced the greatest magnitude of odds ratio (OR = 1.76, 95% CI: 1.62–1.92) for serious degree of burnout, followed by doctor–patient relationship, interpersonal relationship as well as other domains of occupational stressors. Conclusions: Job burnout was very common among healthcare professionals working in Chinese county-level health alliances, different occupational stressors had associations with job burnout. Appropriate and effective policies and measures should be developed and implemented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Burnout as a Public Health Problem and Its Approach from Prevention)
Open AccessArticle
The Development of a Proactive Burnout Prevention Inventory: How Employees Can Contribute to Reduce Burnout Risks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1711; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051711 - 05 Mar 2020
Abstract
Proactive burnout prevention refers to a set of proactive behaviors employees may engage in to prevent burnout. Findings of a previous exploratory qualitative study indicated that employees who had to deal with high demands engaged in specific proactive behaviors in the work, home, [...] Read more.
Proactive burnout prevention refers to a set of proactive behaviors employees may engage in to prevent burnout. Findings of a previous exploratory qualitative study indicated that employees who had to deal with high demands engaged in specific proactive behaviors in the work, home, and personal domain in order to prevent burnout. To further examine proactive burnout prevention in longitudinal quantitative research and to be able to investigate its effectiveness, an inventory for assessing these kinds of behaviors is necessary. The goal of this study was twofold: 1) to develop an inventory to assess employees’ proactive burnout prevention behaviors and examine its factorial validity, 2) to explore the broader nomological network of proactive burnout prevention behaviors by examining its convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity. A two-wave longitudinal survey (T1: N = 343; T2: N = 201) was conducted. The results of exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis showed that proactive burnout prevention can be reliably assessed with 40 items that load on 12 factors, indicating 12 separate proactive burnout prevention behaviors. Moreover, exploration of the convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity of the proactive burnout prevention inventory showed promising results, as expected relationships were confirmed for most behaviors. Further research is needed to substantiate the findings and examine the effectiveness of proactive burnout prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Burnout as a Public Health Problem and Its Approach from Prevention)
Open AccessArticle
Frenetic, under-Challenged, and Worn-out Burnout Subtypes among Brazilian Primary Care Personnel: Validation of the Brazilian “Burnout Clinical Subtype Questionnaire” (BCSQ-36/BCSQ-12)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1081; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17031081 - 08 Feb 2020
Abstract
Primary healthcare personnel show high levels of burnout. A new model of burnout has been developed to distinguish three subtypes: frenetic, under-challenged, and worn-out, which are characterized as overwhelmed, under-stimulated, and disengaged at work, respectively. The aim of this study was to assess [...] Read more.
Primary healthcare personnel show high levels of burnout. A new model of burnout has been developed to distinguish three subtypes: frenetic, under-challenged, and worn-out, which are characterized as overwhelmed, under-stimulated, and disengaged at work, respectively. The aim of this study was to assess the psychometric properties of the long/short Brazilian versions of the “Burnout Clinical Subtypes Questionnaire” (BCSQ-36/BCSQ-12) among Brazilian primary healthcare staff and its possible associations with other psychological health-related outcomes. An online cross-sectional study conducted among 407 Brazilian primary healthcare personnel was developed. Participants answered a Brazil-specific survey including the BCSQ-36/BCSQ-12, “Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey”, “Utrecht Work Engagement Scale”, “Hospital Anxiety/Depression Scale”, “Positive-Negative Affect Schedule”, and a Visual Analogue Scale of guilt at work. The bifactor was the model with the best fit to the data using the BCSQ-36, which allowed a general factor for each subtype. The three-correlated factors model fit better to the BCSQ-12. Internal consistence was appropriate, and the convergence between the long-short versions was high. The pattern of relationships between the burnout subtypes and the psychological outcomes suggested a progressive deterioration from the frenetic to the under-challenged and worn-out. In sum, the Brazilian BCSQ-36/BCSQ-12 showed appropriate psychometrics to be used in primary healthcare personnel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Burnout as a Public Health Problem and Its Approach from Prevention)
Open AccessArticle
The Relationship between Emotional Regulation and School Burnout: Structural Equation Model According to Dedication to Tutoring
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4703; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234703 - 26 Nov 2019
Abstract
School burnout constitutes a current phenomenon which generates diverse negative consequences in the personal and academic lives of students. Given this situation, it is necessary to develop actions that permit us to regulate this harmful mental state and that are administered from within [...] Read more.
School burnout constitutes a current phenomenon which generates diverse negative consequences in the personal and academic lives of students. Given this situation, it is necessary to develop actions that permit us to regulate this harmful mental state and that are administered from within the school context. A descriptive and cross-sectional study is presented that pursues the objective of examining a structural equation model which brings together burnout and emotional regulation. The model assumes that students receive tutoring at school in order to tackle these types of problems. For this, the sample constituted a total of 569 students from the province of Granada (men = 52.3% (n = 298); women = 47.7% (n = 271)). Mean age was reported as 10.39 ± 0.95 years and the School Burnout Inventory (BMI) and the Emotional Regulation Scale were utilized as the principal instruments. As main findings it was observed that students who received one hour of weekly tutoring showed a positive relationship between expressive suppression as a strategy of emotional regulation, cynicism, and exhaustion as consequences of school burnout. In the same way, a direct association existed between burnout-related exhaustion and cognitive repair. Given that significant relationships could not be observed between these variables in students who do not receive tutoring, higher use of emotional regulation was confirmed amongst tutored students when faced with this negative mental state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Burnout as a Public Health Problem and Its Approach from Prevention)
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