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'Burnout' among Dutch midwives.

Bakker, R.H.C., Groenewegen, P.P., Jabaaij, L., Meijer, W., Sixma, H., Veer, A. de. 'Burnout' among Dutch midwives. Midwifery: 1996, 12(4), 174-181
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Objective
to determine the effect of workload on 'burnout' having considered work capacity. DESIGN: cross-sectional study.

Setting
Dutch community midwives in independent practice.

Participants
200 Dutch community midwives.

Measurements
three-week diary recordings, a questionnaire on practice and personal characteristics, and a questionnaire on 'burnout', social support and coping style.

Findings
differences in 'burnout' can be explained partly by the midwife's workload and partly by her work capacity. A high workload may lead to 'burnout' when a midwife is unable to handle stressful situations.

KEY CONCLUSIONS: when a higher percentage of the supervised births occurred at the client's own home instead of during a short-stay hospital visit, the chances of 'burnout' are lower. IMPLICATIONS
FOR PRACTICE: changes in the organisation of Dutch community midwifery care may contribute to the reduction of 'burnout'. 'Burnout' is a complex phenomenon influenced both by individual and organisational factors. When formulating policy to reduce 'burnout' among midwives specific work-related factors must be considered and emphasis be placed on the importance of personal resources.