Staff Burnout - A Comparative Study of Metropolitan and Rural Mental Health Nurses within Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 2015, 36 (7), pp. 528 - 537
Issue Date:
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© 2015 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc. This article will present the findings of a research study that investigated the extent to which mental health nurses employed within rural and metropolitan areas of Australia are affected by burnout, using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and a demographic questionnaire. The study also examined whether the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) was a valid measure of mental health burnout within the Australian context and culture or alternatively, in what ways it needed to be refined? A cross-sectional study of mental health nurses (n = 319) from the states of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia was undertaken. The 22-item Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) was used to measure burnout and a demographic questionnaire utilising a cluster sampling, cross-sectional design survey method, was used to gather the data. The study found that gender and level of qualification were the two major factors that showed any significance, where males experienced a higher level of depersonalisation on the frequency and intensity sub-scale scores of the MBI and that the more qualified a nurse, the greater the level of depersonalisation they experienced. These results were true for participants in both rural and metropolitan settings within Australia. Age was the third most influencing factor in terms of emotional exhaustion, where younger participants (under 30) reported higher levels of emotional exhaustion. Younger male mental health nurses experienced higher levels of depersonalisation.
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