Burnout, Vicarious Traumatization, Coping Styles, and Empathy In Long-Term Care Nursing Personnel

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Margot Holaday

Advisor Department



There have been many research studies on burnout since the inception of the construct but few have investigated burnout in long term care nursing staff. In addition, the study of vicarious traumatization has recently begun to include empirical investigations. To date, no study has been identified that incorporated both burnout and vicarious traumatization using nursing staff employed in nursing home settings. This exploratory study was an investigation into a proposed process model for the development of burnout using vicarious traumatization, coping styles, and empathy as predictor variables. Nursing staff from 10 long term care facilities (N = 160) completed questionnaires measuring burnout, vicarious traumatization, empathy, and coping styles. Pearson correlations were used to explore the relationships between individual variables. Structural equation modeling was employed to test the goodness of fit of the proposed process model of burnout. Additionally, a canonical correlation procedure was used to measure the amount of shared variance between burnout and vicarious traumatization. A statistically significant relationship was found between vicarious traumatization and burnout, which is contradictory to much of the present research findings. The proposed process model of burnout was not supported, although several predictive relationships were present.