Work-related stress and burnout have been found to lead to job dissatisfaction, low-organizational commitment, absenteeism, and high turnover.
The purpose of this study was to examine the burnout experiences of occupational therapists practicing in Ontario and to describe the practice implications and coping strategies employed.
Data for this mixed methods study were collected using the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey, Areas of Worklife Survey, focus groups, and interviews in the hermeneutics tradition.
High levels of emotional exhaustion were reported by 34.8% of participants, high levels of cynicism by 43.5%, and low professional efficacy by 24.6%. Practice issues included excessive demands on time, conflict, and lack of autonomy and respect. Coping strategies included spending time with family and maintaining professional/personal balance, control of work responsibilities, maintaining a sense of humor, and self-awareness/self-monitoring.
This study contributes to understanding the practice challenges for occupational therapists, factors that contribute to therapist burnout, and strategies employed to maintain competent practice.