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HIV healthcare providers' burnout

Supplement : Abstracts of the 2016 International Symposium on HIV and Emerging Infectious Diseases (ISHEID)

Journal of Virus Eradication 2016; 2 supplement 1

Abstract No : S5


Tamar Ginossar

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA

Abstract :

Stresses related to providing care for People Living with HIV (PLWH) changed with the dramatic decline in HIV- related deaths following the availability of antiretroviral therapy. However, caring for PLWH remains physically and emotionally taxing and HIV healthcare providers are at increased risk of burnout compared to other healthcare providers. Burnout is a psychological syndrome resulting from prolonged interpersonal stressors in occupational setting. Individuals suffering from burnout feel emotional exhaustion, reduced professional accomplishment and demonstrate callousness toward clients and peers. Providers’ burnout is a significant concern as it increases turnover in health care organizations and decreases the quality of care provided to patients.

Burnout research has typically focused on the relationship between burnout and individual-level factors. However, as burnout is caused by chronic occupational stress, it is pertinent to consider organizational-level factors that might influence burnout. An important organizational factor that was not previously examined refers to organizational culture, or the shared expectations for behavior in the organization. Specific organizational cultural factors that might influence providers’ burnout include teamwork, involvement in organizational decision making, and social undermining. Examining organizational-level influences on providers’ burnout has the potential to expand the theoretical and practical knowledge of this syndrome and can inform the design of effective interventions to reduce burnout among HIV healthcare providers.

In this presentation I will discuss the importance of considering the role of organizational culture in provider burnout, and review a short survey instrument measuring organizational culture. I will describe a study that utilized a cross sectional survey design to examine the relationship between HIV healthcare providers’ burnout and organizational culture factors. The results of multiple regression analysis indicated that positive organizational culture was negatively related to burnout. These findings suggest that effective organizational communication might protect HIV healthcare providers from burnout. Drawing on this study and on healthcare organizational research, I will provide directions for exploring the impact of organizational culture on providers’ experiences of burnout, and the potential of interventions to change current burnout rates in HIV healthcare organizations.

* This presentation is based on the following article:

Ginossar, T., Oetzel, J., Hill, R., Avila M., Archiopoli, A., & Wilcox, B. (2014). HIV healthcare providers’ burnout: Can organizational culture make a difference? AIDS Care 2014 26: 1605–1608.

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