Burnout in community mental health nursing: findings from the all Wales stress study

Anne Fothergill, Ben Hannigan, Deborah Edwards, David Coyle, Philip Burnard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stress and its outcomes are significant problems for mental health workers. Questionnaires were sent to 614 community mental health nurses (CMHNs) in Wales. Three hundred and one responded (49%). Of these, 283 completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) (Maslach et al. 1996). Half of those who responded indicated that they were emotionally overextended and exhausted by their work. One quarter of respondents were found to possess negative attitudes towards their clients, and approximately one in seven experienced little or no sense of satisfaction with their work. Working in an urban environment and lacking a supportive line manager were indicators for higher emotional exhaustion. CMHNs were significantly more likely to have negative attitudes towards their clients if they: were male; worked with an elderly care caseload; lacked job security; and had an unsupportive line manager. However, CMHNs who had worked longer within the field of community mental health were more likely to have positive attitudes towards their clients. Those CMHNs who had not completed a specialist postqualifying education course and those who did not hold a supervisory or management position were found to have a lowered sense of personal satisfaction in their work. Those CMHNs who reported that they drank alcohol were more satisfied with their sense of personal accomplishments achieved in their work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-134
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • burnout
  • Community mental health nursing
  • Maslach Burnout Inventory
  • stress


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