Mental Health, OTalk

#OTalk 21st February – Stress and burnout.

This weeks chat is on the topic of stress and burnout and is hosted by Samantha Tavender (@SamOTantha).

Burnout is a stress-related syndrome that often affects professionals working in emotionally loaded and highly interpersonal environments (Volpe et al, 2014).

The term ‘Burnout’ is a multidimensional concept which was originally introduced by Freudenberger (1974), which consists of emotional/ physical exhaustion, depersonalization and a lack of feelings of personal accomplishment following a prolonged exposure to stress in the workplace.

Burnout is associated with low job satisfaction, higher staff turnover rates, sickness absence and poorer consumer outcomes (Scanlan and Still 2013). It is therefore in everyone’s vested interest for occupational therapists to make themselves aware of stress and burnout and how to reduce stress and what factors in the work environment may induce stress or burnout.

“One of the main coping strategies for managing stress and burnout is recognizing stress – to develop coping strategies we must first understand stress and burnout” (Scanlan & Still 2013).

Stress inducing factors:

Seeing little positive change or no change in service users over time:

Caseload Size:

Organizational Procedures:

Team Climate:

Stress reducing:

Strong Professional Identity and Professional Resilience:


Reflection and Recognizing signs of stress:

The first aim of the chat will be to address this issue and allow participants a chance to reflect on there own stress levels/ early warning signs.

 What is does stress and burnout mean to you?

what are the signs of stress and how can you tell that you are stressed?

 The second aim of the chat will be to focus on ways in which occupational therapists can reduce stress, and prevent burnout.

How do you manage stress inducing factors such as large caseloads and organizational procedures?

How do you maintain your professional identity within the MDT?

How do you look after emotions after a difficult day?

How do you make the most out of supervision?

What are your self care top tips

References and relevant articles:

Ashby, S.E., Ryan, S., Gray, M. and James, C., 2013. Factors that influence the professional resilience of occupational therapists in mental health practice. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal60(2), pp.110-119.

Brice, H.E., 2001. Working with adults with enduring mental illness: Emotional demands experienced by occupational therapists and the coping strategies they employ. The British Journal of Occupational Therapy64(4), pp.175-183.

Brown, G.T. and Pranger, T., 1992. Predictors of burnout for psychiatric occupational therapy personnel. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy59(5), pp.258-267.

Edwards, D. and Burnard, P., 2003. A systematic review of the effects of stress and coping strategies used by occupational therapists working in mental health settings. The British Journal of Occupational Therapy66(8), pp.345-355.

Freudenberger, H.J., 1974. Staff burn‐out. Journal of social issues30(1), pp.159-165.

Scanlan, J.N. and Still, M., 2013. Job satisfaction, burnout and turnover intention in occupational therapists working in mental health. Australian occupational therapy journal60(5), pp.310-318.

Volpe, U., Luciano, M., Palumbo, C., Sampogna, G., Del Vecchio, V. and Fiorillo, A., 2014. Risk of burnout among early career mental health professionals. Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing21(9), pp.774-781.


Online Transcript

The Numbers

1,502,522 Impressions
570 Tweets
44 Participants
456 Avg Tweets/Hour
13 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

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