The incidence of burnout in athletic trainers across occupational settings
Kelly, Patricia J.
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The burnout syndrome is generally defined as emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. It is very prevalent in the human service professions but little research has been conducted with the athletic training profession. Athletic trainers are suspected to be at a higher risk for burnout than the other human service professionals due to several factors that are unique to the field such as: team travel, numerous hours, crisis situations, negative focus of the work, and many unwanted expectations placed on them by coaches. Three hundred and thirty-one certified athletic trainers from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin were surveyed to identify the existence of burnout across the occupational settings of university, high school, and clinical. The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) with subscales of Emotional Exhaustion, Depersonalization, and Personal Accomplishment subscales was utilized to assess the incidence of burnout. All occupational settings were found to fall into the moderate range for Emotional Exhaustion, low to slightly moderate range for Depersonalization and a high range for Personal Accomplishment. Personal Accomplishment was determined to be significantly related to occupational setting, with high school having a higher Personal Accomplishment score than the university and clinical settings (F[2,3301 = 7.096, p<.02). It was also determined that the number of hours an athletic trainer worked per week only affected the amount of Personal Accomplishment (F[2.321] = 7.1, pc.02). The number of years certified as an athletic trainer was also investigated but no significant linear relationship was found between the three subscales.