Burnout and psychological adjustment in mental health workers in rural Australia: the roles of mindfulness and compassion satisfaction
Samios, C 2018, 'Burnout and psychological adjustment in mental health workers in rural Australia: the roles of mindfulness and compassion satisfaction', Mindfulness, vol. 9, pp1088-1099.
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Rural mental health workers (including psychologists, counselors, and social workers) face a range of challenges that place them at risk for burnout. Because we need to encourage mental health workers to work in rural settings and find ways to support them, we need to understand factors that may buffer the negative effects of burnout on their psychological adjustment. First, this study examines the buffering role of mindfulness on the relationship between burnout and psychological adjustment in Australian rural mental health workers, and second, tests a mechanism through which mindfulness exerts its propitious effects: through compassion satisfaction. Sixty-nine rural mental health workers completed measures of burnout, mindfulness, compassion satisfaction, and a range of psychological adjustment indicators (depression, positive affect, and life satisfaction) at one point in time. Mindfulness buffered the negative effects of burnout on depression and positive affect but not on life satisfaction. Compassion satisfaction partially mediated the relationship between mindfulness and depression and fully mediated the relationships between mindfulness and the positive indicators of adjustment (i.e., positive affect and life satisfaction). The study findings support the incorporation of mindfulness-based strategies into rural mental health worker self-care.