Burnout among Palliative Care Professionals

Ivana Macuka, Ivana Tucak Junaković, Danijela Božić


Prolongation of life expectancy increases the likelihood of
death caused by chronic illness and the need for medical
and psychosocial support within the palliative care setting.
Professionals working in the palliative care field need
adequate education to work with dying patients in order to
achieve greater expertise, but also to prevent professional
burnout. The aim of this study was to examine the
contribution of personal (i.e. communication skills,
resistance, religiosity) and factors related to the work
environment (i.e. social support) in explaining burnout (i.e.
emotional exhaustion and disengagement) among palliative
care professionals. The study was conducted on a sample of
123 professionals working in the palliative care setting
(nurses, physicians, psychologists, theologians, social
workers, physiotherapists, etc.). The results indicate that
personal risk/protection factors, compared to work
environment factors, were more closely related to burnout,
especially when emotional exhaustion was considered. On
the other hand, both personal and environmental factors
had a significant role in the prediction of disengagement
from work. The most significant predictor of both aspects of
burnout was the communication skill of reporting bad news.


burnout; communication skills; resilience; religiosity; social support; palliative care

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Copyright (c) 2020 Ivana Macuka, Ivana Tucak Junaković, Danijela Božić

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096