Quarterly scientific journal

Burn-out syndrome: Understanding and early recognition of the syndrome from the nursing staff in public and private hospital

Areti Stavropoulou , Evagelia Papadaki , Ageliki Ftylaki , Evridiki Kampa


The analysis and the investigation of the burn-out syndrome have to a great degree preoccupied the researchers in the sector of health internationally. Regarding the nursing science and the Greek reality, it tends to look like an outbreak of an epidemic, it consists a risk for the mental and physical health of nursing personnel and influences the quality of the available health services. Aim: The aim of the present study was the investigation, the understanding and the early recognition of the symptoms of the burn-out syndrome from nurses who work in private and public hospitals of Crete. Material and method: Semi-structured interviews were used in a sample of eight (8) nurses from two hospitals (private and public sector) of Crete. The data were analyzed based on the principles of content analysis. Results: The analysis of data revealed no differences between the nurses in the private and the public hospital with regard to the early recognition of symptoms and the comprehension of the burn-out syndrome. The majority of nurses knew the definition of the syndrome and most of them presented symptoms that included sexual disturbances, insomnia, gastro-intestine disturbances and headaches. The pressure of workload, the low income and the work environment were considered by most nurses as the main factors that contributed in the onset of the syndrome. Conclusions: The majority of nurses can recognize the early symptoms of the burn-out syndrome and many of them experience the syndrome. Support and respect on nursing staff from the supervisors and efforts to reduce the workload, the development of educational programs and a satisfactory work environment constitute the essential factors for the prevention and the treatment of the syndrome.

Keywords: Burn-out syndrome , nurses, qualitative research

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