Burnout and Resilience Among Neurosciences Critical Care Unit Staff

Neurocritical Care and Chaplaincy Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Preventing burnout and promoting resiliency are important for health professionals’ well-being and quality of patient care, as individuals with high levels of burnout are more likely to self-report suboptimal patient interactions. The purpose of this study was to characterize resiliency and burnout among health care professionals in the neurosciences critical care unit (NCCU) at a tertiary care center. Methods: All NCCU clinical staff were invited to participate in a Qualtrics® electronic survey between November 2016 and August 2017. The survey assessed burnout using the abbreviated Maslach Burnout Inventory (aMBI) and resiliency using the ten-question Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC 10). Higher scores on each aMBI subsection (range 0–18) indicate higher levels of each characteristic; larger resiliency scores (range 0–40) indicate higher resiliency. Categorical variables were compared using the Chi-square test and continuous variables using the Mann–Whitney U test or independent samples t test. Results: A total of 65 participants (65/70, 93%) were included in the final analysis. Of respondents, 49 (75%) were nurses, 49 (75%) were female, and mean age was 34 years. Median emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment scores were as follows: 8 (IQR 6–11), 3 (IQR 0–6), and 15 (IQR 13–16). High emotional exhaustion scores and high depersonalization scores were reported in 45% (n = 29) and 28% (n = 18) of participants, respectively. Longer time working in the NCCU (1–5 years vs. less than 1 year) was independently associated with higher emotional exhaustion scores (p = 0.012). When compared to agnostic/atheist backgrounds, Catholicism was independently associated with higher personal accomplishment scores (p = 0.026). The median resiliency score was 31 (IQR 28–36). Older age was independently associated with higher resiliency scores (p = 0.044). Conclusions: This study is the first to characterize levels of burnout and resiliency among NCCU providers. A significant minority of participants reported high levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, with those working longer in the NCCU more likely to experience emotional exhaustion. Efforts to improve the current work environments to optimally support the emotional needs of staff are needed to allow care providers to thrive and to promote longevity among NCCU providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-410
Number of pages5
JournalNeurocritical care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Burnout
  • Chaplain
  • Critical care
  • Neurological critical care
  • Nurses
  • Physician
  • Resilience
  • Staff

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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