How Much is Geriatric Caregivers Burnout Caring-Specific? Questions from a Questionnaire Survey

Ennio Cocco*
A.D.A.P.E.I. de l’Ain, Bourg-en-Bresse, France
Formerly: Mental Health Department, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy

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Creative Commons License
© Ennio Cocco; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to the author at the A.D.A.P.E.I. de l’Ain, CENORD, 10 rue Marc Seguin, BP 7010, 01107 Bourg-en-Bresse Cedex, France; Tel: 0033 / 4 / 74421050; Fax: 0033 / 4 / 74421051; E-mail:



Background and Aims:

Research dealing with occupational strain and burnout in geriatric care is generally focused on the behavioral problems of the patient and/or the psychological traits or attitudes of the carers rather than on organizational functionality. This paper describes data from a survey of all geriatric professions, using the Stressful Events Questionnaire (SEQ), a tool that takes into account multiple dimensions that can affect the genesis of burnout, including the patient, the geriatric health care professional, and the health care organization. The aim of this study is to compare patterns of answers among different roles in geriatric care.


Patterns of SEQ answers are described for the entire sample as well as for workers experiencing burnout and for each caring profession investigated: certified nursing assistants (CNAs), registered nurses and physicians/psychologists.


In general, carers refer more often as stressful the facility-related events; the only exception is that CNAs working in general hospital geriatric wards refer most often as stressful the patient-related events. The self-related events area seems to have a great importance for all professions.


The specificity of gerontological burnout has to be discussed, to better define the role played by caring problems, including psychological attitudes of carers versus the role played by the institution and by the social situation of each worker. For CNAs, the interaction between educational background and the length of time spent as a CNA seems to be a critical topic.

Keywords: Burnout, caregiver continuous training, geriatrics, healthcare marketization, nursing assistants.