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Exploring Burnout Experiences and Wellbeing Nurturing Practices of Mental Healthcare Staff: A Narrative Inquiry.

Sproson, Lisa (2018) Exploring Burnout Experiences and Wellbeing Nurturing Practices of Mental Healthcare Staff: A Narrative Inquiry. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Existing literature has shown increasing prevalence rates of workplace burnout (Squiers et al, 2017; Johnson et al, 2018). Whilst a wealth of research has identified causing factors and symptoms of burnout, comparatively less research has focused on strategies that best protect against burnout and nurture well-being. Therefore, this study aimed to explore how mental healthcare staff experience burnout, with a specific view of learning what factors they attribute to causing burnout, and what strategies they have found to most effectively reduce burnout and support well-being.An opportunity sample of four participants completed a professional quality of life questionnaire (PROQOL-5) (Stamm, 2009) and online qualitative survey; responses were analysed using descriptive statistics and narrative text inquiry respectively. Analysis of participants’ narratives revealed a shared sense of being less powerful individuals failed by a more powerful system. Participants felt a lack of resources, reflective supervision, and high work demands that conflicted with internal values to all be significant contributors of burnout. Participants found informal peer support, flexible working, boundaries and exercise to be helpful in reducing burnout.Participants narratives help to inform best practice strategies. Further studies exploring a wider population of mental healthcare professionals’ experiences is recommended to further increase understanding of effective strategies that nurture subjective well-being.

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