Chiara A. Ripamonti, Dario Monzani, Emanuele Preti, Patrizia Steca

Life in Hospitals: A Study of Factors Influencing Physicians' and Nurses' Well-Being

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The evaluation of the well-being of the medical and nursing staff working in hospitals is of paramount importance to pinpoint and control possible causes of psychological distress, the consequences of which can affect the quality of professional care and of relationships with both colleagues and patients. The factors influencing physical and psychical exhaustion, prodromic to the burnout syndrome, can be both individual and environmental. The present study has examined a sample (N = 944) of physicians (N = 271, Mean age 45 yrs, d.s. = 9,56 yrs) and nurses (N = 673, Mean age 36,58 yrs, d.s. = 6,85 yrs) working in hospitals, with the aim of evaluating the relationships among organizational climate, burnout, stress and coping strategies and the differences in these factors related to professional status, gender, and length of service. The instruments used were: The Maslach Burnout Inventory (Maslach, Jackson, 1981), a created ad hoc Questionnaire on the working climate, which assesses three dimensions: Leadership, Quality of the relationship between colleagues and the organization of the work structure and the Health Professions Stress and Coping Scale (Ripamonti, Steca, Prunas, 2007), a new self-report questionnaire that assesses the level of subjectively perceived stress in comparison with a series of stressful situations relating to the hospital, and the coping strategies used to deal with them. The results showed the existence of interesting differences between doctors and nurses in the different variables considered and significant relationships among burnout, organizational climate, and coping strategies.

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