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Attitudes, empathy and burnout among staff in geriatric and psychogeriatric care
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing. Department of Geriatric Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge Hospital, Huddinge, Sweden.
1990 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study concerned assessments of attitudes towards demented patients among students and nursing staff as well as attitudes towards active euthanasia, wish to transfer to other jobs, ability of empathy and experience of burnout among nursing staff. The study aimed also to relate experience of burnout to attitudes towards demented patients, ability of empathy and experience of work with demented patients. The study was performed by use of questionnaires, scales measuring attitudes towards demented patients, experience of burnout and ability of empathy. Tape-recorded interviews were also included aiming to explore the staffs experience at work.

The results showed that a majority of the students and staff held positive attitudes towards demented patients. A small proportion intended to work solely with demented patients. Staff working in psychogeriatric care and somatic long-term care held more positive attitudes than staff working in acute medical care. Proportions of staff with positive attitudes varied depending on age, duration of employment, education and place of work. A larger proportion of staff in geriatric care than in acute care reported a wish to transfer to another job. LPN’s in nursing homes to the largest proportion stated this wish to transfer.

A majority of both students and staff expressed negative attitudes towards active euthanasia to severely demented patients in the finale stage of life. However, most favourable attitudes towards active euthanasia were found among students with shorter health care education and among nurse's aides and LPN’s.

The staffs empathy was judged as moderately high and there were no differences found in relation to sex, staff category or place of work.

Experience of burnout /tedium varied with the place of work and category of staff. Largest proportions at risk to develop burnout were found among those working in somatic long-term care and psychogeriatric care. RN’s showed lower burnout scores than nurse's aides and LPN’s.

Experience of burnout was correlated to attitudes towards demented patients, indicating that the lower burnout score the staff have the more positive are the attitudes. Burnout was also related to the staffs ability of empathy i.e. the lower degree of burnout the higher is the empathie ability. Regression analysis showed that "Experience of feed-back at work” and "Time spent at present place of work" were the most important factors for the staffs experience of burnout.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1990. , 43 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 267
Keyword [en]
Attitudes, burnout, dementia care, empathy, institution, staff
National Category
Geriatrics Nursing
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-103814ISBN: 91-7174-471-1OAI: diva2:815567
Public defence
hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå Universitet, Umeå

Diss. (sammanfattning) Umeå : Umeå universitet, 1990, härtill 7 uppsatser.

Available from: 2015-06-01 Created: 2015-06-01 Last updated: 2015-06-01Bibliographically approved

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