Burnout: a silent epidemic Essay

Submitted By James-Ralston
Words: 2482
Pages: 10

Burnout A Silent Epidemic

Burnout is defined as “a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by long term involvement in an emotionally demanding situation” (Rossi et al. 2012). Karinikola and Papathanassoglou, (2013) suggest the three major signs of burnout include emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment. Energy levels surrounding the professionals’ job engagement is seen as the best measure of emotional exhaustion. Clear detached relationships between the client and the professional are the strongest representation of depersonalization (Karinikola and Papathanassoglou, 2013). The correlation between symptoms and ineffective professional client relationships continues in identifying personal accomplishment. Reduced performance and removal of a successful effort to meet the client’s needs is established as personal accomplishment (Karinikola and Papathanassoglou, 2013). Due to the onset of burnout more issues tend to arise in the form of anxiety, depression, substance abuse, drops in self-esteem, increased health problems and decreased performance (Alarcon, 2011). Negative implications aren’t only seen through the suffering of the employee but also in the case of the employer. Due to the involvement of costs due to turnover, lower organization commitment, absenteeism, comprised job performance and job dissatisfaction (Ashill and Rod, 2011). Kozak, Kersten, Schillm”oller and Nienhaus, (2013) have shown that many jobs are linked with high levels of stress, though this problem is intensified in emotionally demanding work environments such as those of mental health services.

A theoretical framework in investigating the connection between staff members value preferences and burnout has been identified in the person-environment fit paradigm (Tartakovsky, Gafter-shor and Perelman-Hayim, 2013). This paradigm assumes when working in an environment compatible with one’s interests and abilities it leaves the individual feeling more satisfied and successful (Kozak et al. 2013). Tartakovsky et al. (2013) predicts expectation is then made when the link between the organisations values and the individuals are similar, leading to an increase in job satisfaction and a decrease in burnout. Should an organization be successful in promoting their productivity and general well being, their environment needs to support the development of vigor, involvement, dedication, energy, absorption and effectiveness among employees (Vilardaga et al. 2011). Burnout tends to be a process rather then a fixed state, primarily caused by organizational factors (Happell, Martin and Pinikahana, 2013). Some researchers have tried to connect individual variables like that of anxiety, depression and vulnerability to burnout (Acker, 2012). An interesting finding has emerged highlighting the role that setting and/or type of clients seems to play in the rates and severity of burnout observed. Human service providers who with clients with the economically disadvantaged, sex offender and physical disabilities all have reported differential rates of burnout (Lasalvia and Tansella, 2011). A similar paradigm was present by Maslach, Schaufeli and Leiter, (2001) proposing the ‘mediation model’, which identifies the greater the amount of worker-job mismatch, the greater the likelihood of burnout. Due to its focus on the relationship of burnout and contextual work sources it can be used in research and applied intervention. Seeing as perceived organizational factors have greater influence than personal factors burnout is viewed as an individual syndrome that develops in a work context (Vilardaga et al. 2011). This model suggests that two underlying processes negotiate the development of burnout: (1) energy depletion is driven by high job demands (e.g. time pressure, emotional demands, cognitive demands and shift work) and is associated with exhaustion and (2) erosion of motivation is driven by a lack of job resources (e.g.