Personal determinants of nurses' burnout in end of life care

Georgeana Gama, Filipe Barbosa*, Margarida Vieira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Our aim is to identify socio-demographic, professional exposure to dying, training degree and personal factors relevant to burnout dimensions in nurses coping with death issues. Method: A sample of 360 nurses (response rate 70.6%) from internal medicine, oncology, haematology and palliative care departments of five health institutions answered to a socio-demographic and professional questionnaire, Maslach Burnout Inventory, Death Attitude Profile Scale, Purpose in Life Test and Adult Attachment Scale. Results: No significant differences were found between medical departments in burnout scores except when comparing those with palliative care department which showed significant lesser levels of emotional exhaustion (. t=2.71; p<.008) and depersonalization (. t=3.07; p<.003) and higher levels of personal accomplishment (. t=-2.24; p<.027).By multiple regression analysis exhaustion and depersonalization are negative, sequentially determined respectively by purpose in life, dependent attachment, fear of death attitude and by purpose in life, dependent attachment, years of professional experience and personal accomplishment by positive purpose on life and secure attachment. Conclusion: We conclude for the protective value of factors such as meaning and purpose in life, secure attachment and attitude towards death, through the various burnout dimensions that shows the need to develop under and postgraduate training strategies in these specific areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-533
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Attachment styles
  • Burnout
  • Death attitudes
  • Nurse training
  • Nurses
  • Palliative care
  • Stress
  • Terminal care


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