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Psychooncology. 2008 Jul;17(7):676-80.

Evaluation and art therapy treatment of the burnout syndrome in oncology units.

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Centro di Riferimento Regionale di Ematologia ed Oncologia Pediatrica, Policlinico, Università di Catania, Italy.


We undertook a pilot study to evaluate and potentially reduce the level of burnout in the operators of two oncology centers. The study included 65 doctors and nurses of an adult (Group A) and a pediatric oncology unit (Group B). We used the Maslach Burnout Inventory to estimate the level of burnout obtained in three dimensions: emotional exhaustion, distancing (cognitive and emotional) and reduced personal achievement. Data showed a medium-high level of burnout in Group A and a medium-low level in Group B. In the second part of the study, Group B underwent a program of art therapy interventions with the aim of reducing the level of burnout. Comparing the responses from Group B participants before and after the intervention indicated a statistically significant decreased level of burnout. In conclusion, burnout syndrome exists among oncology unit personnel and can be effectively treated with art therapies. Attention devoted to this aspect is required in order to improve the workers' well-being, thus enhancing attention and dedication to patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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