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Minerva Anestesiologica 2007 April;73(4):195-200


lingua: Inglese

Burnout in Intensive Care Unit

Raggio B. 1, Malacarne P. 2

1 Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital of Pisa, Pisa, Italy; 2 Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, University Hospital of Pisa, Pisa, Italy


Aim. The aim of this paper was to study in intensive care unit (ICU) the impact of variable “professional role” and “gender” on the defence mechanisms, on the troubles of mood and on the markers of the burnout syndrome, and to study the correlation between specific defence mechanisms or specific troubles of mood and the onset of burnout syndrome.
Methods. An observational study by administration of psychometric tests was carried out. Twenty-five nurses and 25 doctors working in two differents ICU of the Azienda Ospedaliera-Universitaria Pisana were enrolled. Three psychometric tests concerning the defence mechanisms (Defense Mechanism Inventory), the troubles of mood (Profile of Moods States) and the burnout syndrome (Maslach Burnout Inventory) were administred and the three tests were analysed to study the features of each person enrolled.
Results. The study shows the presence within doctors of two dimensions of burnout syndrome (emotional exhaustion in women and depersonalization in men) much greater than nurses. The doctors show the presence of defence mechanism as overturning, aggressiveness and rationalization, and troubles of mood as depression-despondency and aggressiveness-anger. Compared to men, women show turning to one self as defence mechanisms, whereas the men show aggressiveness-anger as trouble of mood. The women doctors show depression-disheartement as trouble of mood, the men doctors show tension-anxiety. We showed a correlation between tiredness-indolence, depression-disheartement and onset of emotional exhaustion, as a correlation between aggressiveness, aggressiveness-anger in man and oncet of depersonalization. Finally we correlated the absence of tension-anxiety as troble of mood and overturning as defence mechanism with a good personal accomplishment at work.
Conclusion. The burnout sindrome is present in health-care workers in ICU and it is significantly affected by operating role and gender. We must be aware of this phenomen in order to study it and to reduce it.

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