Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2017 May; 72(5): 305-309.

Copyright © 2017 CLINICS

Burnout syndrome in health-care professionals in a university hospital

Lucila Corsino de Paiva I , Ana Carla Gomes Canário I II , Eneluzia Lavynnya Corsino de Paiva China I , Ana Katherine Gonçalves I *

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, RN, BR

Faculdade Mauricio de Nassau, Natal, RN, BR

*Corresponding author. E-mail:

received December 6, 2016; revised January 26, 2017; accepted March 10, 2017.



To evaluate professional achievement and factors associated with occupational burnout among health professionals.


An institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted on 436 healthcare providers, consisting of 101 nurses, 81 doctors and 254 nursing technicians, all meeting pre-established inclusion criteria. Occupational burnout was detected using the Maslach occupational burnout inventory tool. Data were collected by self-administered questionnaires comprising questions concerning socio-demographics, education and training, and the Maslach occupational burnout inventory was used to identify levels of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and professional achievement.


Emotional exhaustion was associated with education level and work place for nursing technicians. Depersonalization was associated with gender in nursing technicians. For nurses, depersonalization showed a significant association with education level, whereas this factor was associated with number of jobs for doctors. Lower levels of professional achievement were observed for unspecialized doctors compared to those with further training. Higher levels of professional achievement were associated with professionals with postgraduate training compared to those without.


High levels of emotional exhaustion were found in professionals from the maternity unit as well as in professionals with lower educational levels. Depersonalization was higher in physicians with several jobs and in female nurses. Low professional achievement was found in unspecialized doctors, while high professional achievement was associated with postgraduate training.

Keywords: Burnout Syndrome, Quality of Life, Occupational Health, Hospitals

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