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Occup Ther Health Care. 2003;17(1):63-78. doi: 10.1080/J003v17n01_06.

Burnout among occupational therapists.

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East Carolina University, Occupational Therapy Department, Belk Building, Greenville, NC, 27858


Objectives. Using Maslach's Burnout Inventory (MBI), this study examined burnout among full-time staff occupational therapists including the extent of their burnout; how occupational therapists' burnout compared to four health care professions, and if type of health care setting impacts their level of burnout. Method. The MBI was mailed to each subject in the random sample (n = 3000) of occupational therapists who were American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) members. Results. Occupational therapists displayed a higher level of emotional exhaustion, and lower levels of depersonalization and personal accomplishment. Differences were found in the levels of occupational therapists' burnout when compared to four health care professions. Occupational therapists working in chronic care health care settings demonstrated higher levels of burnout than those working in other health care settings. Conclusion. The occupational therapist should strive to match their skills, interests, life style, and experience to the appropriate health care setting to promote a good person-environment fit to decrease burnout and promote quality patient care and personal health.

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