Occupational burnout among radiation therapists in Australia: Findings from a mixed methods study

N. Singh, C. Wright, K. Knight, M. Baird, D. Akroyd, R.D. Adams, M.E. Schneider

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Evidence demonstrates that health care professionals in the palliative care context are more burned out than other health professionals. The aims of this study were to examine: (1) occupational burnout levels among radiation therapists in Australia, (2) association between demographic factors on burnout and (3) radiation therapists' perceptions of burnout. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey including the Maslach Burnout Inventory was administered to Radiation Therapists in Australia. Data were analysed using SPSS Ver 20 and open ended comments were analysed thematically using Nvivo 10. Results: A total of 200 radiation therapists participated in the survey. RTs had a high mean (±SD) burnout score for emotional exhaustion (38.5 ± 8.2), depersonalisation (17.5 ± 4.7) and personal achievement (30.5.3 ± 4.3) compared to RTs and health workers in other studies. High levels of emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and low levels of personal achievement were present in 93% (186/200), 87% (174/200) and 61% (122/200) of participants respectively. RTs identified high workload and staff shortages, interpersonal conflict and technology as key sources of stress in the RT work environment. Conclusion: Australian RTs' level of burnout on all three stages of burnout exceed previously reported burnout levels for similar cohorts both locally and internationally. It is important that future interventions aimed at minimising or preventing stressors are identified and implemented in the radiation therapy work environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-221
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • Maslach Burnout Inventory
  • Oncology
  • Professional burnout
  • Radiation therapy
  • Stress
  • Work

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