The mediating role of self-care activities in the stress-burnout relationship
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Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, Košice, Slovak Republic
Submission date: 2019-09-09
Final revision date: 2019-10-17
Acceptance date: 2019-10-20
Online publication date: 2019-11-22
Publication date: 2019-11-22
Health Psychology Report 2020;8(1):1–9
Helping professionals suffer from a number of health and psychological difficulties resulting from their occupa-tion. In the field of helping professions, the demand for understanding the predictors of burnout has been rapid-ly emerging. The aim of this study is to analyse and identify the possible mediators between stress and the three factors of burnout in a specific sample of helping professionals.

Participants and procedure:
Helpers (N = 698; 618 women) were randomly selected from institutions in 8 districts in Slovakia. The sample comprised social workers (n = 188); residential care providers (n = 191); ergotherapists (n = 97); providers of physical and psychological care (nurses, physiotherapists, psychologist and psychotherapists; n = 222). They described their levels of perceived stress, risk of burnout (in three factors: emotional exhaustion, depersonali-sation, and personal accomplishment) and performed self-care activities in self-reported questionnaires.

The relationship between stress and emotional exhaustion was mediated by health self-care. In comparison, the relationship between stress and depersonalisation was mediated by psychological self-care. The relation-ship between stress and personal accomplishment was mediated by both psychological and professional self-care.

When helping professionals have initial symptoms of burnout in the form of emotional exhaustion, concentrat-ing on health self-care activities could be helpful. Performing health, psychological and professional self-care activities may prevent further development of burnout in times of high stress.

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