La fatica di essere maschio: un’indagine su genere e burnout / The effort of being male: a survey on gender and burnout

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G. Maccacaro
F. Di Tommaso
P. Ferrai et al



«The effort of being male: a survey on gender and burnout». Introduction: Stress at work affects more than 40 million people in the European Union - around 22% of workers - and is the second most reported work-related health problem. Gender does not seem to be a constant predictive factor for burnout: some studies showed that women suffer more from burnout than males, other studies proved that males report higher burnout scores while others did not detect any difference at all. These results may be due to gender-related stereotypes, or could even reflect the preponderance of a specific gender in some jobs. Objectives: To determine whether gender might be among the relevant variables in job burnout studies. Method: In 2008-2009 a study on burnout was carried out in a Healthcare Trust in northern Italy. The Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) and the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) were distributed to physicians, administrative staff and auxiliary personnel of hospital departments and local services. Results: A total of 1,604 JCQ’s and 1,604 MBI’s were analysed, corresponding to 37% of the distributed tests. Results of logistic regression showed that gender, shift work and a low score in  relationships with superiors were significantly associated with burnout. Considering the tasks of physicians and nurses, the burnout frequency was 3.78% for physicians and 1.97% for nurses, with higher percentages in males than in females. Women with children reported an average burnout frequency that was lower than the average of the whole population studied while men with children had a double burnout frequency compared to the average. Conclusions: Male gender is significantly associated with a burnout condition. Moreover, our findings have shown that physicians experience an excess burnout compared to nurses although this excess did not achieve statistical significance when taking into account distribution according to gender in the two professions.
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