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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910

Abstract

SILVA, Andréa Tenório Correia da  and  MENEZES, Paulo Rossi. Burnout syndrome and common mental disorders among community-based health agents. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.42, n.5, pp. 921-929. ISSN 0034-8910.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102008000500019.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of the burnout syndrome and of common mental disorders among community-based health agents, also identifying associated factors. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in 2006 with 141 community-based health agents who had been working for at least six months in primary care units in the city of São Paulo (Southeastern Brazil). The participants answered three questionnaires: one about sociodemographic, health- and work-related characteristics, the Self Reporting Questionnaire, and the Maslach Burnout Inventory, which allows the assessment of three dimensions of the burnout syndrome: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment. Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine associations between variables. RESULTS: Overall, 24.1% of the interviewees presented burnout syndrome. Moderate or high levels of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment were observed in 70.9%, 34.0% and 47.5% of the participants, respectively. The prevalence of common mental disorders was 43.3%. Positive correlations between the three dimensions of burnout, were observed. Presence of common mental disorder was independently associated with higher levels of emotional exhaustion and reduced personal accomplishment. CONCLUSIONS: The high frequency of intense levels of burnout and the high prevalence of common mental disorders among community-based health agents point to the need of intervention strategies in these individuals' daily lives and of further studies to better understand the actual picture and the determinants of burnout.

Keywords : Health Personnel; Burnout, Professional [epidemiology]; Mental Disorders [epidemiology]; Risk Factors; Occupational Health; Cross-Sectional Studies.

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