11 SES 02, Teaching within Inclusive Schools
In a sample of Swedish school-teachers, the occurrence of burnout has been examined together with data on the psychosocial work environment, sociodemographic and life-style factors. The present study represent the follow-up which aims to investigate which occupational, sociodemographic and life-style factors at baseline that predicted burnout at the follow-up.
In Sweden, recent official statistics indicate that teachers are among the occupational groups with the highest risk of stress-related disorders (1). The stressful working conditions of teachers have attracted researcher’s interest in many countries (2- 4). One stress-related consequence teachers may experience is burnout, which is an undesirable psychological state characterized by exhaustion, cynicism and feelings of reduced professional efficacy (5). The proposed explanations for teacher burnout are many and include associations between burnout and a strained work situation (i.e., high job demands in combination with low job control), limited resources, permeable boundaries between private life and individual characteristics (6 - 9).
Using the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey, previous studies have mainly used a variable-oriented approach and examined the single dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism and professional efficacy as recommended in the manual (5). However, we presume that individuals may simultaneously experience shifting intensities across one or more of the three burnout dimensions, and that two or three dimensions is worse than experiencing burnout in only one dimension. Thus viewing burnout as a syndrome, we adopt a person-oriented approach that entails focusing on the co-occurrence of burnout signs on the individual level (10). This approach enables to examine differences between groups of individuals that are defined by their individual configurations of burnout signs.
In a previous study (which forms the baseline of the present one), a questionnaire of occupational, sociodemographic and life-style factors was answered by 490 teachers in school years 4-9, working in 49 different schools in Sweden (11). Outcome measure was the combined measure based on high or low values in the three dimensions exhaustion, cynicism and professional efficacy. The combined measure was used to stratify the study population into four levels (0 -3) of burnout. A statistical model (multivariable Poisson regression) was applied on level 2+3 vs. level 0+1, for variables that we considered as relevant risk factors for burnout.
The results from baseline (11) indicated that half of the teachers reported low values in all three dimensions (level 0), whereas 15 % were classified as having high burnout in at least two out of the three dimensions (level 2 + 3), and 4 % in all three dimensions (level 3). The perception of almost all psychosocial factors (e.g. job demands, job control, job support, emotional demands, leadership) were incrementally more unfavourably reported through the rising levels of burnout, and so were dissatisfaction with the computer workstation arrangements, pain, sleep problems and lack of personal recovery. There was no association between gender and rising levels of burnout. Low self-efficacy, poor leadership, high job demands and teaching in higher grades were the variables most clearly associated with burnout in multivariable Poisson regression. Thus, although circa 50 % of the teachers appear do well with respect to burnout, the results pointed to the need of implementing countermeasures that may serve to reduce burnout among the teachers.
However, at baseline the cross-sectional study design precluded conclusions on causal relationships (i.e. you can´t assess whether e.g. the psychosocial work environment caused burnout, or if burnout influenced the perception of the psychosocial factors). In the present study, a new data collection of burnout among the teachers 2.5 years after the first one, give opportunities to investigate which occupational, sociodemographic and life-style factors at baseline that predicted burnout at follow-up.
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