Job characteristics, burnout and negative work-home interference in a nursing environment
Koekemoer, Frieda Eileen
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Within the health care sector in South Africa, the nursing profession is known as one of the four most stressful work environments, which is characterised by high workload, staff shortages and overcrowding situations. This stressful and emotionally draining environment can be the cause for large numbers of nurses experiencing symptoms of burnout and negative work-home interference. However, there seems to be a lack of research investigating specific job demands and job resources associated with burnout and negative work-home interaction in a nursing environment. The first objective of this study was to determine the construct validity and reliability of the adapted Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey (MBI-GS). The second objective was to determine which job characteristics within the nursing environment predict burnout and negative work-home interference (WHI). The last objective was to determine whether negative WHI mediated between the most prominent job characteristics and burnout within the nursing environment and whether it was a partial or full mediating effect. A cross-sectional survey design was used. Random samples (n = 300) were taken from nurses working in the Johannesburg, Klerksdorp, Krugersdorp, Pretoria and Potchefstroom areas. A job characteristics questionnaire, the 'Survey Work-Home Interaction - Nijmegen' (SWING) and an adapted version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey were administered. Cronbach alpha coefficients, exploratory factor analysis, Pearson product moment correlations, multiple regression analysis and structural equation modelling were used to analyse the data. Regarding the first objective, it was found that burnout consists of exhaustion and mental distance, whereas cynicism and depersonalisation collapse into one dimension (e.g. mental distance). Regarding the second objective, the results indicated that the most prominent job demands and job resources associated with exhaustion are pressure, autonomy, role clarity, colleague support and financial support. It seemed that mental distance is primarily predicted by role clarity, colleague support and financial support, while negative work-home interference is predicted by pressure, time demands, role clarity and colleague support. Results obtained for the last objective provided evidence for a partial mediating role of negative WHI in the relationship between the most prominent job characteristics (pressure, role clarity and colleague support) and burnout (consisting of exhaustion and mental distance). Recommendations were made for the organisation and for future research.