Burnout in veterans health administration mental health providers in posttraumatic stress clinics

Hector A. Garcia, Cindy A. McGeary, Donald D. McGeary, Erin P. Finley, Alan L. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to conduct the first assessment of burnout among Veterans Health Administration (VHA) mental health clinicians providing evidence-based posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) care. This study consisted of 138 participants and the sample was mostly female (67%), Caucasian (non-Hispanic; 81%), and married (70%) with a mean age of 44.3 years (SD = 11.2). Recruitment was directed through VHA PTSD Clinical Teams (PCT) throughout the United States based on a nationwide mailing list of PCT Clinic Directors. Participants completed an electronic survey that assessed demographics, organizational work factors, absenteeism, and burnout (assessed through the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey, MBI-GS). Twelve percent of the sample reported low Professional Efficacy, 50% reported high levels of Exhaustion, and 47% reported high levels of Cynicism as determined by the MBI-GS cut-offscores. Only workplace characteristics were significantly associated with provider scores on all 3 scales. Exhaustion and Cynicism were most impacted by perceptions of organizational politics/bureaucracy, increased clinical workload, and control over how work is done. Organizational factors were also significantly associated with provider absenteeism and intent to leave his or her job. Findings suggest that providers in VHA specialty PTSD-care settings may benefit from programs or supports aimed at preventing and/or ameliorating burnout.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological Services
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Keywords

  • Absenteeism
  • Burnout
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Veterans health administration
  • Workplace stressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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