Title : Attachment style as an explanation for burnout among health professional caregivers and the moderating effect of mindfulness
Background: For workers in the health professions, burnout is always a potential consequence. The term ‘burnout’ was first introduced by Freudenberger in 1974 to describe the conditions in which a person experiences physical and mental exhaustion caused by occupational stress (Freudenberger, 1974). Later, Maslach and Jackson (1981) defined burnout as a three-dimensional syndrome that consisted of depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, and low personal accomplishment (Maslach & Jackson,1981, Yao et al., 2018). Burnout is especially common in jobs that are directly related to people, especially in the case of healthcare professionals who provide patient care services and face more challenges including communication with patients and their relatives as well as interaction with colleagues in teams (Yao et al., 2018).
Recent research has shown that physicians who work with patients who misuse opioids are likely to experience negative emotions (70%) or suffer from burnout (19%; Dhanani et al., 2022.). Individuals suffering from the syndrome put patients at risk besides manifesting various types of health problems. The present study examined personality factors as a risk factor for high levels of burnout among health professionals. In addition, the mindfulness variable was measured here. People who experience and achieve more current attention and awareness can help individuals better manage themselves and reduce autonomous behavior. As such, the main study hypotheses were:
- Anxious attachment style is positively correlated with burnout.
- Avoidant attachment style is positively correlated with burnout.
- Mindfulness moderates the relationship between attachment style and burnout so that the relationship between the variables is higher for high levels of mindfulness.
Methods: The investigation here examined a sample of Israeli nurses (N=60), nearly all of whom were full-time employees. The instruments used here included the: MBI- Maslach Burnout Inventory (1996), SRMA- Self-Report Measures of Adult Attachment (1998), and Mindfulness- FFMQ questionnaire- The Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (2006).
Results: Burnout was found to be related in the expected direction to avoidant attachment style and anxious attachment style. Mindfulness was not found to moderate the relationship.
Implications: According to the present findings, management must understand that burnout formation is a complex process that appears to depend on personal factors. As such, health organizations are advised to set up interventions that help reduce the burnout phenomenon. It may want to focus on those who are high on avoidance and anxiety. It may be advisable to team up with health practitioners who differ in their avoidance and anxiety levels so as to allow them to function more efficiently.