Original Research

Burnout and job satisfaction of nursing staff in a South African acute mental health setting

Anthea Payne, Liezl Koen, Daniel J.H. Niehaus, Inge-Marli Smit
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 26 | a1454 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v26i0.1454 | © 2020 Anthea Payne, Liezl Koen, Daniel J.H. Niehaus, Inge-Marli Smit | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 August 2019 | Published: 27 July 2020

About the author(s)

Anthea Payne, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Liezl Koen, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Daniel J.H. Niehaus, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Inge-Marli Smit, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Psychiatric nurses constitute a fundamental part of the mental health care system in South Africa. However, high levels of burnout and job dissatisfaction among nursing staff have been associated with reduced empathy and quality of care, and poor service delivery. Stikland Psychiatric Hospital is a state psychiatric hospital situated in Belville and provides all levels of psychiatric care to a large part of the Cape metro region. To our knowledge, no previous studies have examined burnout and job satisfaction among nurses in this setting.

Aim: We assessed the relationship between burnout and job satisfaction among the nursing staff.

Setting: The study was conducted at Stikland Psychiatric Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.

Methods: This cross-sectional study used the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory and an established job satisfaction questionnaire to assess burnout and job satisfaction among 127 staff members associated with psychiatric nursing.

Results: In this population comprising mostly female (83.5%) nurses, scores for personal, work-related and client-related burnout were relatively high, but job satisfaction was also high. Higher levels of burnout were significantly associated (Pearson’s linear correlation, r = -0.077, p < 0.01) with lower levels of job satisfaction. There were no significant associations between burnout or job satisfaction and gender, rank or years of experience.

Conclusions: If mental health service delivery is to be optimised, supportive or preventative processes should be implemented to reduce the prevalence of burnout in psychiatric nurses. This study adds to the scarce local knowledge and provides information that can be used to inform the development of supportive strategies for psychiatric nursing staff in South Africa.


Keywords

psychiatric nurses; burnout; job satisfaction; mental healthcare; South Africa

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