The role of occupational stress in the association between emotional labor and burnout in nurses: A cross-sectional study

Francesco Zaghini, Valentina Biagioli, Miriana Proietti, Sondra Badolamenti, Jacopo Fiorini, Alessandro Sili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim To test a model to evaluate the influence of emotional labor on burnout and the mediating role of work-related stress reported by nurses. Background: Nurses are particularly exposed to work-related stress caused by their relationships with their patients. Even though their emotional involvement can cause work-related stress for professionals, nurses recognize this as a fundamental part of the caring relationship, and it has been proved to be therapeutic for patients. The effects of emotional labor contribute to stress, and prolonged exposure to it contributes to burnout syndrome, with repercussions on nurses' health and quality of life, and patients' quality of care. Methods: A multicentre correlational study was conducted on a sample of 207 nurses from different clinical areas in three hospitals in Italy. A self-report questionnaire was used to measure levels of emotional labor, burnout and work-related stress. Results: High levels of emotional labor and work-related stress increase burnout syndrome in nurses. Work-related stress mediates the relationship between emotional labor and burnout. The Oncology ward is identified as the major clinical area exposing nurses to emotional labor. Conclusions: The results of this study highlight the mediating role of work-related stress in the relationship between emotional labor and burnout, offering a new field for intervention to interrupt this process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151277
JournalApplied Nursing Research
Volume54
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Burnout
  • Emotional labor
  • Nurses
  • Occupational stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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