DOI: 10.3390/healthcare12040438 ISSN: 2227-9032

Analyzing Latent Burnout Profiles in a Sample of Spanish Nursing and Psychology Undergraduates

Raimundo Aguayo-Estremera, María José Membrive-Jiménez, Luis Albendín-García, José L. Gómez-Urquiza, José Luis Romero-Bejar, Emilia Inmaculada De la Fuente-Solana, Gustavo R. Cañadas
  • Health Information Management
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy
  • Leadership and Management

There is abundant literature suggesting that university students in helping professions experience high levels of stress, leading to an increased risk of developing burnout. The objective of this study was to identify burnout profiles in a sample of 1162 Spanish nursing and psychology undergraduates using latent profile analysis, a person-oriented statistical method that can identify hidden homogenous subgroups within a heterogeneous population. We expected to replicate in university students the five-profile structure (burnout, overextended, disengaged, ineffective, and engagement) proposed by Leiter and Maslach using the burnout dimensions (emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy) as indicators. The results showed that burnout, overextended, and engagement profiles were adequately replicated. Given that levels of inefficacy and cynicism were medium to low, the ineffective and disengaged profiles somewhat deviated from those identified by Leiter and Maslach. We found differences between the five latent profiles in several psychological variables, such as depression and anxiety. These results suggest that psychosocial factors (e.g., workload) are significant among students and may adversely impact their health, leading to psychosomatic and emotional disorders. Hence, designing effective interventions to prevent health problems associated with burnout seems advisable, considering the specific burnout profile that a student exhibits.

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