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Eura Medicophys. 2006 Mar;42(1):27-36.

Physical rehabilitation and burnout: different aspects of the syndrome and comparison between healthcare professionals involved.

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Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.



The aim of this study is to investigate burnout syndrome among physical rehabilitation professionals focusing on the differences between 4 categories of healthcare professionals involved.


The experimental group consisted of 124 physiotherapy workers chosen among physicians, nurses, therapists, and technicians. The variables we chose to measure were: the presence of burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and lack of personal accomplishment), feelings of depression and anger, symptoms of psychological uneasiness and the level of perceived stress.


Overall the level of burnout experienced was medium-low. Emotional exhaustion was more prevalent among physiotherapists, while depersonalization was higher among physicians. Moreover mild feelings of depression emerged among technicians. No differences were found among the 4 categories when feelings of anger were considered, although anger was present at different levels (and more or less expressed) throughout the working environment.


Some considerations on the nature and possible causes of psychological distress emerged from the work carried out with the groups of healthcare professionals and some possible areas of intervention are suggested.

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