Health care professionals working with individuals with chronic medical illness, especially those infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), may be at risk for burnout and departure due to various job stresses such as the death of patients and social stigma. Factors that prevent burnout and employee attrition are seldom studied. Two hundred thirteen staff (doctors, nurses and mental health workers) at a representative sample of Hemophilia Treatment Centers (HTC) completed instruments to measure Burnout (Maslach Burnout Inventory), and perceived job stresses and satisfaction (job tasks, interactions with colleagues and patient care). The staff were surveyed again after two years and their job status determined after 4 years. After 4 years, 35% of the staff had left the field of Hemophilia/HIV care. Univariate tests found that retention was significantly associated with initial job satisfaction, being married and low levels of stress with colleagues. Burnout, as measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory, at baseline, was unrelated to job retention over 4 years. An adjusted multiple logistic regression of all significant variables found that colleague support was most related to retention (OR=2.8, CI=1.49,5.1). We conclude that attrition of highly trained staff is a significant issue for patients and HTCs. These data suggest the important role that a well-functioning team can have in buffering the inevitable stresses associated with HIV care. Mental Health professionals have considerable expertise in addressing these issues.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health