Prevalence and predictors of burnout and work-life balance within the haematology cancer nursing workforce

Louise Gribben, Cherith J. Semple

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Purpose: The effects of burnout can have serious consequence for individual nurse's, patients and healthcare organisations. The aim of this study was to assess prevalence and predictors of burnout and work-life balance amongst haemato-oncology nurses. Methods: This study employed a cross-sectional survey design. Haematology cancer nurses attending a 2-day conference in Ireland, during Oct 2019 were recruited. Anonymised data were collected on: 1) socio-demographics and occupational variables, 2) burnout using Maslach Burnout Inventory and 3) satisfaction with work-life balance. Results: There was an 80.4% survey completion rate (n = 78 of 97). One-third of haemato-oncology nurses reported high levels of emotional exhaustion, with an additional 46% experiencing moderate levels. Despite this, 64% of nurses highlighted a moderate or high level of personal accomplishment. Demographics such as <40yrs old, unmarried, working ≥25hrs per week and having 6–10 years’ experience in haemato-oncology, all showed trends towards increased burnout, although none reached statistical significance. Over half (58%) surveyed were dissatisfied with their work-life balance. Nurses with dependent children had statistically significant poorer work-life balance scores. In addition, one-third reported they did not receive adequate support or reasonable adjustments from their organisation, with inpatient nurses finding this particularly challenging. Relevance to clinical practice: Taking into consideration the high levels of burnout, healthcare organisations should have a responsibility to teach approaches of stress management, self-care and foster resilience within their workforce. Oncology nurses with dependent children, working in in-patient settings, have identified a need for greater flexibility with working conditions, to improve work-life balance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101973
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Early online date12 May 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution of the respondents who provided the data for this project. We are thankful to the Haematology Association of Ireland for granting access to their registrants to complete the survey.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Oncology nurses
  • Cancer nursing
  • Burnout
  • Haematology
  • Occupational stress
  • Work-life balance
  • Prevalence
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Hematology
  • Humans
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital
  • Workforce
  • Work-Life Balance
  • Neoplasms
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Burnout, Professional/epidemiology
  • Oncology Nursing
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Child


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