Title

Burnout, Bereavement, and Ways of Coping In Health Care Workers and Volunteers Who Work With Clients Who Have HIV/AIDS

Date of Award

1994

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

William Goggin

Advisor Department

Psychology

Abstract

This research was designed to evaluate the relationship between "burnout", which is an emotional and physical phenomenon resulting from conditions at work, subjective distress that is related to multiple bereavement, and ways of coping in caregivers of clients with HIV/AIDS. Caregivers from an HIV outpatient program, two hospice programs, and an AIDS task force completed questionnaires which assessed: (a) the level of experienced burnout, (b) subjective distress that is related to multiple bereavement, (c) ways of coping with stress, and (d) various professional and demographic variables. Emotional exhaustion, which is a component of burnout, subjective distress that is related to multiple bereavement, and escape-avoidance and self-controlling coping strategies, were significantly associated with each other. These respondents did not experience burnout at a higher level than the average range for medical or mental health personnel. Paid employees had higher levels of emotional exhaustion at work than did volunteers. All caregivers had high rates of personal accomplishment. Hospice workers had the same amount of subjective distress that was related to multiple bereavement as did other caregivers. Not having had work-related support needs that were met by one's supervisor, fear of contagion of TB and other infectious diseases excluding HIV, number of hours that were spent per week in direct contact with clients, and knowing co-workers who were infected and/or had died of HIV/AIDS, were predictive of burnout.