Department of Physical Therapy Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

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College of Health Care Sciences - Physical Therapy Department

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Purpose: To determine the degree of burnout in physical therapists working with geriatric patients; and, if there is a relationship between years of working with geriatric patients and the degree of burnout.

Subjects: Randomly chosen physical therapists who were members of the geriatric section of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Methods: The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and a demographic questionnaire were mailed to 190 subjects. The MBI categorizes the degree of burnout on three separate subscales: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment.

Results: Analysis of the 78 (41%) usable surveys revealed that the sample had a low degree of burnout on the personal accomplishment and depersonalization subscales. The degree of burnout on the emotional exhaustion subscale was in the low to moderate categories. There was no linear relationship found between the years of experience with geriatric patients and any of the three subcales of burnout on the MBI.

Conclusions: This sample had a low degree of burnout; however, 53% scored in the moderate and high degree of burnout categories on the emotional exhaustion subscale. The author has theorized that this is the first symptom of burnout to appear. Therefore, the degree of burnout should be monitored for increases in order to address the potential problem.


Physical Therapy

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