Journal of Occupational Health
Online ISSN : 1348-9585
Print ISSN : 1341-9145
ISSN-L : 1341-9145
Underlying spirituality and mental health: the role of burnout
Rainbow Tin Hung HoCheuk Yan SingTed Chun Tat FongFriendly So Wah Au-YeungKit Ying LawLai Fan LeeSiu Man Ng
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2016 Volume 58 Issue 1 Pages 66-71


Objective: This study investigated the effects of burnout on the relationship between spirituality and mental health among healthcare workers in Hong Kong. Methods: Using a cross-sectional design, 312 healthcare workers (mean age=38.6, SD=9.9; 77.7% females) in a mental rehabilitation institution completed a self-administered questionnaire on anxiety, depression, burnout, and daily spiritual experiences. Multivariate regressions were used to test the effects of burnout on the relationships between daily spiritual experiences and anxiety and depression. Results: After adjusting for age, education level, marital status, and staff ranking, higher levels of daily spiritual experience were associated with lower levels of burnout (β=−0.22, p<0.01), depression (β=−0.68, p<0.01), and anxiety (β=−0.05, p<0.01). Burnout was found to have a significant partial mediating effect on the relationship between daily spiritual experiences and depression (z=−2.99, p<0.01), accounting for 37.8% of the variation in depression. Burnout also completely mediated the relationship between daily spiritual experiences and anxiety (z=−3.06, p<0.01), accounting for 73.9% of the variation in anxiety. Conclusions: The results suggested that the association between spirituality and mental health is influenced by the level of burnout, thereby supporting the role of burnout as a potential mediator. Moreover, day-to-day spiritual practice was found to be potentially protective against burnout and mental health problems. Future interventions could incorporate spirituality training to reduce burnout so as to improve the well-being of healthcare workers.(J Occup Health 2016; 58: 66–71)

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2016 by the Japan Society for Occupational Health
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