Goal Orientation Predicts Work Engagement and Burnout in Emergency Nurses.


  • J. Adriaenssens
  • V. De Gucht
  • S. Maes


Introduction: This study, carried out in 13 emergency departments (ED) in Belgium, investigated to what extent goal orientation (GO) adds to the explanation of burnout (BO) and work engagement (WE) in ED-nurses after controlling for job characteristics (demands, control and social support). Method: 170 out of 274 ED-nurses (RR 62%) completed the Leiden Quality of Work Questionnaire for Nurses, Goal Orientation Questionnaire, Maslach Burnout Inventory and Utrecht Work Engagement Scale. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted. Results: Work characteristics and GO explained 38% and 37% of variance in BO and WE respectively. Job control and social support predicted both outcomes (p<.001). Job demands predicted BO only (p<.001). Mastery-Approach GO was related to increase in WE (p<.001) and a decrease in BO (p<.05). Performance-avoidance GO was related to a decrease in WE (p<.01) and an increase in BO (p<.001). Performance-approach and mastery-avoidance GO were not predictive for BO and WE. Conclusion: A mastery-approach GO is beneficial for occupational well-being while a performance-avoidance GO has a negative effect. Suggestions for hospital management are formulated.