Psycho-Social Hazards for Staff in Geriatrics and Geriatric Psychiatry


Context: Exposure to burnout of staff involved with elderly patients is dependent on many factors either personal or linked to the professional environment. Social stress and systemic problems created particularly by difficulties inherent in the French hospital management system and the way people feel it, lead to a risk of burnout. One illustration of this is the rise in suicides at work. Quality of life at work, harassment and psycho-social risks are intimately linked. Affective factors, such as suffering for the medical carers in response to the distress of their patients aggravate the risk of burnout. Methods: We have evaluated these parameters using a self-filled questionnaire form sent to all staff and filled in by computer, anonymously, in 4 establishments, in December 2012 and over the first semester of 2013. After the three factors studied by the ProQOL scale of quality of life at work, to do with burnout, satisfaction compassion and fatigue compassion, 5 other questions were added, connected with a feeling of harassment and several social and demographic matters. Burnout risk was retained on reaching a threshold of 30 for this ProQOL scale item. Results: After multivariate analysis including the parameters of the Stamm scale, harassment and the socio-demographic factors studied, (age, sex, seniority, profession, and work departments) 4 factors are significantly associated with the risk of burnout, one negatively, compassion satisfaction, three positively, compassion fatigue, harassment experience and seniority. Conclusions: The risk of burnout is linked to subjective factors—the way quality of life at work is perceived and harassment experienced. Some professions, such as nurses, are particularly exposed and require these risk factors to be foreseen.

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Thomas, P. , Billon, R. , Chaumier, J. , Barruche, G. and Thomas, C. (2014) Psycho-Social Hazards for Staff in Geriatrics and Geriatric Psychiatry. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 4, 91-98. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2014.42013.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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