Coping strategies as predictors of professional burnout in Polish nurses

Original Article, Pol J Public Health 2020;130: 48-51

Anna Goś1, Katarzyna Szczekala1, Ewa Humeniuk2

1 Department of Foreign Languages, Interfaculty Centre for Didactics, Medical University of Lublin, Poland

2 Chair and Department of Psychology, Interfaculty Centre for Didactics, Medical University of Lublin, Poland

DOI_disc_logo 10.2478/pjph-2020-0011

© 2020 Medical University of Lublin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonComercial-No Derivs licence (


Introduction. Professional burnout, as a defensive, psycho-physical reaction to chronic occupational stress resulting from the imbalance between the demands of the environment and resources of an individual, is the phenomenon which considerably affects the nursing profession. Coping strategies reflect typical ways of reacting to stressful events. The following dissertation is an attempt to provide information on which coping strategies predispose nurses to burnout.

Aim. The aim of the study is determination of coping strategies that are predictors of professional burnout in Polish nurses.

Material and methods. The research group comprised 29 nurses employed in hospitals located in Eastern Poland. The authors’ own socio-demographic questionnaire and standardised psychometric tools were utilised in the course of the research. Brief COPE by S.CH. Carver, adapted into Polish by Z. Juczyński and N. Ogińska-Bulik was applied to determine coping strategies. Link Burnout Questionnaire by M. Santinello, adapted into Polish by A. Jaworowska, was used to measure burnout.

Results. Psychophysical exhaustion is to a great extent connected with such coping strategies as self-blame and planning. Relationship deterioration affects individuals who tend to react to a stressful event by venting emotions. The greater the tendency to self-blame and venting when faced with a stress-related situation, the greater the risk of experiencing the sense of professional ineffectiveness. Disillusion with work is conditioned by denial whereas self-distraction protects from disillusion.

Conclusions. Polish nurses present a moderate and high level of burnout. Some coping strategies (self-blame, venting, selfdistraction, planning and denial) are predictors of professional burnout in nurses. It can be assumed that interventions aimed at training certain coping strategies based on the research results may enhance resistance to burnout in nursing professionals.

Keywords: coping, burnout, nurses.

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