All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Patricia A Patrician

Advisory Committee Members

Marie Bakitas

Lisle Hites

Lori Loan

Dheeraj Raju

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Nursing


AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF THE INFLUENCE OF PERCEIVED ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT, COWORKER SOCIAL SUPPORT, THE NURSING PRACTICE ENVIRONMENT, AND NURSE DEMOGRAPHICS ON BURNOUT IN PALLIATIVE CARE NURSES MARCIA A. LOWE SCHOOL OF NURSING ABSTRACT Burnout, a condition characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and decreased personal accomplishment, has been studied in many disciplines in healthcare, including nursing, medicine, and social work. Working with palliative care patients and their families is innately challenging and may predispose nurses to burnout. The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of perceived organizational support (POS), coworker social support, the nursing practice environment, and nurse demographics (age, years of nursing experience, education level, marital status, and gender) on burnout in a national sample of palliative care nurses. The study aims are as follows: Aim 1: To examine the influence of POS, coworker social support, and nursing practice environment on burnout in palliative care nurses. Aim 2: To examine the influence of age, years of nursing experience, education level, marital status, and gender on burnout in palliative care nurses. Aim 3: To examine potential moderators (POS and coworker social support) on the relationship between demographic characteristics and palliative care nurse burnout. A convenience sample of 73 Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) registered nurses who were bedside caregivers was recruited from HPNA’s membership. Data were analyzed using Pearson’s correlation, followed by regression modeling. Findings of this descriptive, cross-sectional study indicated that palliative care nurses had low to average levels burnout. There was a negative correlation between burnout and POS, and a significant negative correlation between burnout and coworker social support. The nurse practice environment of palliative care nurses was considered to be favorable. Strong organizational support and coworker social support, as well as a favorable work environment, may help to decrease nurse burnout. POS and coworker social support were not moderators for demographics of age and years of experience and their relationship to burnout. Keywords: palliative care, perceived organizational support, coworker social support, nursing practice environment.

Included in

Nursing Commons



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