While situational factors such as high workloads have been found to be predictive of burnout, not all people in the same work context develop burnout. This suggests that individual factors are implicated in susceptibility to burnout. We investigated the relationships between care type (acute/chronic), neuroticism, control (primary/secondary), and symptoms of burnout (exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced professional efficacy) amongst 21 chronic care nurses and 83 acute care nurses working in a public hospital in regional Australia. Similar levels of burnout symptomatology and neuroticism were found in each group of nurses, and neuroticism was found to be associated with exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced professional efficacy in the total sample of nurses. Our prediction that primary control would protect against burnout symptoms in acute care nurses was supported only for professional efficacy, and the prediction that secondary control would protect against burnout in chronic care nurses was not supported.
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