Burnout in mental health care professionals: does culture, profession and self-stigma of seeking help matter?

  • A. Endriulaitiene
  • K. Žardeckaitė-Matulaitienė
  • R. Markšaitytė
  • A. Pranckeviciene
  • D.R. Tillmann
  • D. Hoff


Background: Although it is acknowledged that burnout antecedents might be culture specific, cross-cultural studies in the field of mental health care are quite rare. The main purpose of this study was to compare how gender, age, profession, and self-stigma of seeking help is related to burnout of mental health care professionals in Lithuania and USA. Research methods: 327 counsellors, psychologists and social workers (93 from US, and 234 from Lithuania) completed self-reported Maslach Burnout Inventory and Self-Stigma of Seeking Help scale. Demographic information related to the work tenure, profession, age and gender was also obtained. Findings: Repeated measures ANOVA revealed that emotional exhaustion was the most expressed component of burnout in both countries for all groups of professionals, while lack of professional efficacy was the lowest. Linear regressions showed that higher levels of general burnout as though as higher cynicism, higher emotional exhaustion and lower professional efficacy, were expressed for the professionals working in US and those who possessed higher self-stigma of seeking help. Gender, age, profession and work tenure were not important predictors of burnout taking into account the aforementioned variables. Self-stigma of seeking help was positively related to all burnout components in Lithuanian sample, whereas it was positively related only to cynicism in USA sample. Conclusions: Self-stigma of seeking stigma was the most important predictor of burnout among mental health care professionals in both countries. Still culture should also be taken into account when planing the burnout prevention efforts in the field of mental health care.
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