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Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2010 Mar;31(3):198-207. doi: 10.3109/01612840903200068.

Relationship between psychiatric nurse work environments and nurse burnout in acute care general hospitals.

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University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


Following deinstitutionalization, inpatient psychiatric services moved from state institutions to general hospitals. Despite the magnitude of these changes, evaluations of the quality of inpatient care environments in general hospitals are limited. This study examined the extent to which organizational factors of the inpatient psychiatric environments are associated with psychiatric nurse burnout. Organizational factors were measured by an instrument endorsed by the National Quality Forum. Robust clustered regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between organizational factors in 67 hospitals and levels of burnout for 353 psychiatric nurses. Lower levels of psychiatric nurse burnout was significantly associated with inpatient environments that had better overall quality work environments, more effective managers, strong nurse-physician relationships, and higher psychiatric nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. These results suggest that adjustments in organizational management of inpatient psychiatric environments could have a positive effect on psychiatric nurses' capacity to sustain safe and effective patient care environments.

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