Burnout among hospital chaplains

Hotchkiss, J. T., & Lesher, R. (2018). Factors Predicting Burnout Among Chaplains: Compassion Satisfaction, Organizational Factors, and the Mediators of Mindful Self-Care and Secondary Traumatic Stress. Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling72(2), 86-98, https://doi.org/10.1177/1542305018780655

From the Abstract. This study predicted Burnout from the self-care practices, compassion satisfaction, secondary traumatic stress, and organizational factors among chaplains who participated from all 50 states (N = 534).

Chaplains serving in a hospital were slightly more at risk for Burnout than those in hospice or other settings. Organizational factors that most predicted Burnout were feeling bogged down by the “system” (25.7%) and an overwhelming caseload (19.9%).

The strongest protective factors against Burnout in order of strength were self-compassion and purpose, supportive structure, mindful self-awareness, mindful relaxation, supportive relationships, and physical care.

For secondary traumatic stress, supportive structure, mindful self-awareness, and self-compassion and purpose were the strongest protective factors. Chaplains who engaged in multiple and frequent self-care strategies experienced higher professional quality of life and low Burnout risk.

In the chaplain’s journey toward wellness, a reflective practice of feeling good about doing good and mindful self-care are vital. The significance, implications, and limitations of the study were discussed.

Reducing burnout in police officers

Trombka, Marcelo, et al., Study protocol of a multicenter randomized controlled trial of mindfulness training to reduce burnout and promote quality of life in police officers. BMC Psychiatry, 2018, vol. 18. no. 151, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-018-1726-7. Full text.

Background. Police officers experience a high degree of chronic stress. Policing ranks among the highest professions in terms of disease and accident rates. Mental health is particularly impacted, evidenced by elevated rates of burnout, anxiety and depression, and poorer quality of life than the general public.

Mindfulness training has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, burnout and promote quality of life in a variety of settings, although its efficacy in this context has yet to be systematically evaluated. Therefore, this trial will investigate the efficacy of a mindfulness-based intervention versus a waitlist control in improving quality of life and reducing negative mental health symptoms in police officers.

Mindfulness and ‘facebooking’

stress-at-workCharoensukmongkol, P. (2015). Mindful Facebooking: The moderating role of mindfulness on the relationship between social media use intensity at work and burnout. Journal of Health Psychology. Published online before print. Abstract.

Research on the role of social media use in the workplace has gained more interest, yet little is known about personal characteristics that might influence the outcomes that employees experience when they use social media during work. This research aims to investigate the impact of the intensity of social media use at work on three aspects of burnout: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and lack of personal accomplishment.

Results from partial least squares regression found that mindfulness significantly mediated the relationship between the intensity of social media use at work on emotional exhaustion and lack of personal accomplishment. These findings suggest that using social media during work tends to increase burnout in employees who have a low level of mindfulness, but it lowers burnout in employees who have a high level of mindfulness.

Work climate and psychological need satisfaction in employee well-being

Schultz, P. P., et al. (2014). Mindfulness, Work Climate, and Psychological Need Satisfaction in Employee Well-being. Mindfulness, 1-15.

Abstract. The present study investigated how both mindfulness and managerial autonomy support affect work adjustment. Two hundred and fifty-nine working adults were recruited online, and they were assessed for individual differences in mindfulness and the autonomy-supportive versus controlling style of their management at work. Also assessed were indicators of work-related adjustment, namely, burnout, turnover intention, and absenteeism.

Results showed that both autonomy support and mindfulness had direct relations with employee work well-being. Less autonomy-supportive work climates thwarted employee’s basic psychological needs at work, which partially explained the association of lower autonomy support at work and decreased work adjustment. These indirect effects were moderated by mindfulness. Specifically, people higher in mindfulness were less likely to feel need frustration, even in unsupportive managerial environments.

Mindfulness thus appears to act as a protective factor in controlling work environments. These results not only highlight mindfulness as a potential pathway to wellness at the workplace, but also speak to the relevance of autonomy support in work environments in promoting employee work well-being.

Nurses’ coping with stress, burnout, and anxiety

Smith, S. A. (2014). Mindfulness‐Based Stress Reduction: An Intervention to Enhance the Effectiveness of Nurses’ Coping With Work‐Related Stress. International Journal of Nursing Knowledge. Published online before inclusion in an issue.

Abstract: This critical literature review explored the current state of the science regarding mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) as a potential intervention to improve the ability of nurses to effectively cope with stress.

Empirical evidence regarding utilizing MBSR with nurses and other healthcare professionals suggests several positive benefits including decreased stress, burnout, and anxiety; and increased empathy, focus, and mood.

Mindfulness and compassion fatigue in bereavement workers

Thieleman, K., & Cacciatore, J. (2014). Witness to Suffering: Mindfulness and Compassion Fatigue among Traumatic Bereavement Volunteers and Professionals. Social Work, swt044. doi: 10.1093/sw/swt044. First published online January 1, 2014.

From the Abstract: This study used a survey to investigate the relationship between mindfulness and compassion fatigue and compassion among 41 volunteers and professionals at an agency serving the traumatically bereaved.

Compassion fatigue comprises two aspects secondary traumatic stress and burnout. Because prior research suggests that compassion satisfaction may protect against compassion fatigue, the authors hypothesized that (a) mindfulness would be positively correlated with compassion satisfaction, (b) mindfulness would be inversely correlated with compassion fatigue, and (c) there would be differences between respondents with a personal history of traumatic bereavement and those with no such history.

Overall, this sample showed surprisingly high levels of compassion satisfaction and low levels of compassion fatigue, even among respondents thought to be at higher risk of problems due to personal trauma. Implications of these findings are particularly relevant for social workers and other professionals employed in positions in which they encounter trauma and high emotional stress.

Decreases burnout and improves well-being among healthcare providers

Goodman, M. J., & Schorling, J. B. (2012). A mindfulness course decreases burnout and improves well-being among healthcare providers. The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 43(2), 119-128.

From the Abstract: Healthcare providers are under increasing stress and work-related burnout has become common. Mindfulness-based interventions have a potential role in decreasing stress and burnout. The purpose of this study was to determine if a continuing education course based on mindfulness-based stress reduction could decrease burnout and improve mental well-being among healthcare providers, from different professions.

Design: This was a pre-post observational study conducted in a university medical center. A total of 93 healthcare providers, including physicians from multiple specialties, nurses, psychologists, and social workers who practiced in both university and community settings, participated. The intervention was a continuing education course based on mindfulness-based stress reduction that met 2.5 hours a week for 8 weeks plus a 7-hour retreat. The classes included training in four types of formal mindfulness practices, including the body scan, mindful movement, walking meditation and sitting meditation, as well as discussion focusing on the application of mindfulness at work.

A continuing education course based on mindfulness-based stress reduction was associated with significant improvements in burnout scores and mental well-being for a broad range of healthcare providers.