Burnout in doctors and nurses working in neonatal and pediatric intensive care units in a General Hospital

Chrysoula Lazaridou, Eleni Agakidou, Elisavet Diamanti, Charalampos Agakidis


Aim: Health professionals working in intensive care units (ICU) are at high risk of developing the syndrome of professional burnout. The aim of the study was to explore the severity of professional burnout in doctors and nurses of neonatal (NICU) and pediatric ICUs (PICU) while identifying the factors associated with it.

Study population and methods: Anonymous questionnaires were distributed to the nurses and doctors working in a NICU and PICU of a General Hospital. We utilized a 22-item questionnaire, the Maslach Burnout Inventory that evaluates three domains of burnout; emotional exhaustion (EE), depersonalization (DP), and personal accomplishment (PA).

Results: The response rate was 58% (52/90). The average (SD) scores were 30.71 (11.5) for EE, 10.11 (5.9) for DP, and 33.37 (8.0) for PA. DP scores were significant higher in PICU than NICU (p = 0.032) and EE and DP scores were higher in nurses than doctors (p < 0.013 and p < 0.0001 for EE and DP, respectively). Employees who reported health issues had a significantly higher degree of EE (p = 0.044) and appeared less satisfied with their PA (p = 0.046). Multiple regression analysis confirmed that ICU type and professional capacity were independent predictors of burnout. The age, marital status and years of ICU work did not significantly affect the burnout severity.

Conclusions: There is a significant degree of burnout in the personnel of Greek PICUs and NICUs which is affected by the professional status, type of ICU, and health issues of the employees involved. The state must implement the necessary interventions that will effectively minimize burnout in ICU personnel in order to prevent the unfavorable consequences on both staff members and inpatients.


Emotional exhaustion, Depersonalization, Personal accomplishments, Psychological fatigue, Working environment

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