• Gediminas Raila
  • Paulina Mikulėnaitė
  • Sandra Starkovaitė
  • Aušrinė Kontrimienė
Keywords: burnout, primary health care, social care, physician, nurse, social worker


Introduction. Burnout syndrome in the health care sector is widely discussed in the world due to increasing workloads, shortages of healthcare professionals, increasingly specialized healthcare and other causes. This syndrome can be categorized into emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, professional efficiency, and decreased satisfaction with one’s own accomplishments. The research on burnout syndrome of the healthcare workers in Lithuania is rather fragmented and there are no studies about the burnout of primary healthcare family physicians and nurses. There is a lack of burnout research among social care workers both in Lithuania and worldwide. Methods. Family physicians and nurses from 33 primary health care institutions and social workers from Kaunas and Kaunas district municipalities participated in the study. The study used the MBI-GS Maslach scale. Results. The study involved 413 health and social care professionals: family physicians (n=159), nurses (n=167) and social workers (n=87). There were 19 (4.6%) specialists, who were identified as burnt out: 8 (5%) family physicians, 8 (4.8%) nurses and 3 (3.4%) social workers. Regarding burnout index, statistically significantly fewer physicians (22.0%) compared to nurses (37.1%) and social workers (39.1%) had low emotional exhaustion (p=0.013). Low levels of cynicism were found to be statistically significantly less frequent among physicians and nurses compared to social workers (16.4% and 13.8% and 28.7%, respectively; p=0.012). In the professional effectiveness dimension, fewer nurses (67.7%) indicated that they were able to effectively address work-related problems compared to responses from physicians (78.6) and social workers (83.9%) (p=0.017). At the emotional exhaustion dimension, fewer social workers (9.2%) compared with nurses (29.9%) and physicians (37.7%) (p=0.001) report that they overwork during the day. Conclusions. Burnout syndrome was identified in 4.6% of the respondents, most of whom were primary healthcare specialists. Burnout syndrome is slightly less common among social workers (3.4%). Low professional efficiency was found in the one-tenth respondents. High emotional exhaustion and cynicism were found in half of the respondents. Low cynicism was found to be statistically significantly more common among social workers and low emotional exhaustion among nurses and social workers. From the aspect of professional efficiency, nurses were statistically significantly less likely to effectively solve problems at work when comparing to family physicians and social workers. In the dimension of emotional exhaustion, social workers statistically significantly less often reported that they overwork compared to family physicians and nurses. In the cynicism dimension, family physicians and nurses were statistically significantly more likely to note that work had become less exciting than before compared to social workers.

Scientific articles