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Médecine du travail du personnel hospitalier

Caregiver stress and burnout in an oncology unit.

Palliat Support Care. 2006 Mar;4(1):65-80.
Caregiver stress and burnout in an oncology unit.
Sherman AC, Edwards D, Simonton S, Mehta P.
Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.

PURPOSE: Caring for patients with cancer can be taxing for front-line health care providers. The growing intensity of treatment protocols, in conjunction with staff shortages, reduced hospital stays, and broader pressures on the health care system may exacerbate these challenges, leading to increased risk for burnout. This article reviews the research literature regarding the prevalence of burnout and psychosocial distress among oncology providers, examines multifactorial occupational and personal determinants of risk, and considers intervention strategies to enhance resilience. METHODS: Literature review of empirical peer-reviewed studies focusing on prevalence and correlates of burnout among oncology physicians and nurses. RESULTS: Findings from a number of studies using validated measures and large samples suggest that prevalence rates for burnout and psychosocial distress are high among oncology staff, though not necessarily higher than in non-cancer-practice settings. A growing database has examined occupational (e.g., workload) and demographic (e.g., gender) factors that may contribute to risk, but there is less information about personal (e.g., coping) or organizational (e.g., staffing, physician-nurse relations) determinants or multilevel interactions among these factors. Oncologist burnout may adversely affect anticipated staff turnover. Other important endpoints (biological stress markers, health status, patient satisfaction, quality-of-care indices) have yet to be examined in the oncology setting. Intervention research is at a more rudimentary phase of development. CONCLUSIONS: Burnout and distress affect a significant proportion of oncology staff. There is a need for additional conceptually based, longitudinal, multivariate studies regarding burnout and its associated risk factors and consequences.

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