Background: Burnout (BO) is a consequence of chronic work-related stress exposure and impacts healthcare workers' performance, efficiency, and quality of care. Purpose: The study aimed to assess the BO among respiratory therapists (RTs) in Saudi Arabia and examine the association between BO and sociodemographic data and professional satisfaction. Methods: A cross-sectional study involving a convenience sample of RTs in Saudi Arabia was conducted utilizing the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) in addition to questions regarding sociodemographic information and professional satisfaction. Three dimensions typify BO syndrome in the MBI questionnaire: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and low personal accomplishment. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 27.0 was used to analyse the data. To make comparisons between two continuous variables, independent samples t-tests were used. A one-way ANOVA test was used for factors with more than two categories. Two hundred thirty-six RTs (N=236) were surveyed in this study. The majority of the respondents were male n=130 (55.1%), single n=140 (59.3%), and lived in the central region n=136 (57.6%). The age of the participating RTs in the study ranged from 20 to 58 years, with an average of 28.5 years (SD±5.08). Results: The results showed that RTs had a high level of emotional exhaustion with a mean of 31.97, a moderate level for depersonalization with a mean of 11.39, and a moderate level for lack of personal accomplishment with a mean of 33.58. Age, gender, the role of the RTs, hours of work, and shift schedule of the participants were associated with BO. The workload was the most work factor among RTs associated with BO. Professional satisfaction of work-life balance, the current job, and monthly income were related to the burnout levels across the three subscales. Conclusion: This study was the first to explore BO by MBI and related factors among RTs in Saudi Arabia. Burnout seemed to be a common problem among RTs in Saudi Arabia and was associated with sociodemographic information and professional satisfaction. The findings may help to develop effective intervention strategies to limit and prevent BO. More prospective studies are required with a larger number of participants of RTs.

Author Bio(s)

Waleed A. Asiri, MScRT, BsRT, is a Respiratory Therapist at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Rachel Culbreth, PhD, MPH, RRT, is an Assistant Professor at Georgia State University, GA, USA.

Douglas S. Gardenhire, EdD, RRT-NPS, FAARC is a Chair and Clinical Professor, Governor’s Teaching Fellow at Georgia State University, GA, USA.


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