, BMJ Open, 2023 Mar 01
Rashon Lane, Ph.D., MA, Senior Health Equity Scientist
AbstractStudies have found associations between occupational burnout symptoms and reduced engagement with healthy behaviors. We sought to characterize demographic, employment and sleep characteristics associated with occupational burnout symptoms, and to evaluate their relationships with adherence to COVID-19 prevention behaviors (mask usage, hand hygiene, avoiding gatherings, physical distancing, obtaining COVID-19 tests if potentially infected).
Methods: During December 2020, surveys were administered cross-sectionally to 5208 US adults (response rate=65.8%). Quota sampling and survey weighting were employed to improve sample representativeness of sex, age and race and ethnicity. Among 3026 employed respondents, logistic regression models examined associations between burnout symptoms and demographic, employment and sleep characteristics. Similar models were conducted to estimate associations between burnout and non-adherence with COVID-19 prevention behaviors.
Results: Women, younger adults, unpaid caregivers, those working more on-site versus remotely and those with insufficient or impaired sleep had higher odds of occupational burnout symptoms. Burnout symptoms were associated with less frequent mask usage (adjusted odds ratio (aOR)=1.7, 95% CI 1.3-2.1), hand hygiene (aOR=2.1, 95% CI 1.7-2.7), physical distancing (aOR=1.3, 95% CI 1.1-1.6), avoiding gatherings (aOR=1.4, 95% CI 1.1-1.7) and obtaining COVID-19 tests (aOR=1.4, 95% CI 1.1-1.8).
Conclusions: Disparities in occupational burnout symptoms exist by gender, age, caregiving, employment and sleep health. Employees experiencing occupational burnout symptoms might exhibit reduced adherence with COVID-19 prevention behaviors. Employers can support employee health by addressing the psychological syndrome of occupational burnout.