Prevalence of somatisation as a determinant of burnout amongst staff working in drug and alcohol services

Mazoruk, Sabina, Huxley, Adam, Alexis-Garsee, Camille ORCID: and Schifano, Fabrizio (2017) Prevalence of somatisation as a determinant of burnout amongst staff working in drug and alcohol services. Drugs and Alcohol Today, 17 (4) . pp. 242-249. ISSN 1745-9265 [Article] (doi:10.1108/DAT-05-2017-0018)

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Purpose: This study explored the prevalence of somatisation as a determinant of burnout amongst drug and alcohol staff in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach: The study employed a cross-sectional design utilising a self-completion online questionnaire. Data was collected from substance misuse workers across England and Wales. 165 responses were eligible for analysis, yielding a response rate of 5%. Burnout and somatization were measured with Maslach’s Burnout Inventory and the Physical Symptoms Inventory.

Findings: The prevalence of somatic symptoms was relatively low in the sample studied. The reported levels of burnout were moderate. Personal accomplishment remained high in the sample. There was a strong association between burnout and incidence of stress related somatic symptoms, with higher levels of burnout correlating with multiple symptoms.

Research limitations/implications: It was not possible to determine the extent of non-response bias, as at the time of the study there was no information available relating to the characteristics of drug and alcohol staff in the selected services. Therefore, as the response rate was very low (5%) it was recognised that non-response bias might have affected the findings, in such way that non-respondents may have differed in their experiences of work stress, satisfaction, burnout and health outcomes.

Practical implications: Despite the limitations, the study provided practical information relating to burnout vulnerability and associated physical symptoms in this specific occupational group. These findings can support employers to address staff wellbeing with a view to prevent burnout and reduce existing levels of burnout and related somatic symptoms, and improve job performance, job satisfaction, and staff retention through making appropriate adjustments, such as developing staff-wellbeing programmes. These adjustments could potentially contribute to improvement in substance misuse practice, through maintenance of healthy and satisfied workforce.

Social implications:

Originality/value: There is very few studies looking at burnout in drug and alcohol staff. This study is also novel in a way that it reveals correlations between a variety of specific stress related physical symptoms and the three components of burnout.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Applied Health Psychology group
Item ID: 22576
Notes on copyright: This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here ( Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited. This is the accepted version of the manuscript "Prevalence of somatisation as a determinant of burnout amongst staff working in drug and alcohol services", published in the journal "Drugs and Alcohol Today" available via the journal site at:
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Depositing User: Camille Alexis-Garsee
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2017 14:47
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2021 01:15

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