Stress vulnerability and burnout in nurses working in prison
Aida Cruz Mendes, RN, MsC, PhD; Maria Claro RN
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Often mistaken for stress, burnout is an inadequate response to chronic occupational stress that can affect the quality of life of an individual or organization. Nurses performing their duties in prisons work with physically or mentally impaired people in a extremely difficult environment in which the specificity of their tasks, with a person-centered approach, require ability and availability to develop interpersonal herapeutic relationships, as well as conflict management skills. This study aimed to analyse stress vulnerability and its association with burnout among nurses working in prisons.
Method: Descriptive correlational study. Sample composed of 95 Portuguese nurses working in prisons. Stress vulnerability was measured using the 23QVS (Vaz Serra, 2000), whereas burnout was assessed using the MBI-GS -- Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey (Maslach & Leiter, 1997).
Results: Mean age 38.26 years, 42.1% were male and 57.9% female. Mean scores: emotional exhaustion, 12.85; cynicism, 12.32; and inefficacy, 28.95. The mean score of stress vulnerability was 34.45. Positive correlations, statistically very significant, were found between emotional exhaustion and stress vulnerability (r = 0.349; p = 0.001), and between vulnerability and cynicism (r = 0.306; p = 0.003). No significant correlations with inefficacy were found.
Conclusions: In comparison with the results obtained by Queiras (2005) in a representative sample of Portuguese nurses, nurses working in prisons show higher levels of burnout. On the other hand, the correlation found between stress vulnerability and burnout indicates that a special attention should be given to this variable in the selection and training of nurses working in prisons.
41st Biennial Convention - 29 October-2 November 2011. Theme: People and Knowledge: Connecting for Global Health. Held at the Gaylord Texan Resort & convention Center.
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