Burnout among physiotherapist- A literature review 17-1

Burnout among physiotherapist- A literature review
Hili Rozenblum, Shahar Lev-Ari





Burnout has been found to be a significant problem among the service professions, especially among health care workers. This phenomenon has been studied among physiotherapists as well, but, to the best of our knowledge, no literature review has been done on the subject. The goal of this literature review is to study the level of burnout among physiotherapists in three different dimensions: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment, to compare the level of burnout among physiotherapists to that of other health care workers and the general population, to identify which variables are associated with burnout among physiotherapists, and identify effective preventive interventions for physiotherapists.



A literature search was performed in Medline, Cinahl, Psycinfo, Google Scholar, the Journal of the Israel Physiotherapy Society (JIPTS) and dissertations from the University of Tel Aviv up to December 2013.



Fourteen relevant articles were retrieved. According to the Maslach burnout inventory, the level of burnout among physiotherapists varied from a low to a high level in all three dimensions. Because the level of burnout among physiotherapists was not homogeneous, it was not possible to compare it with that of the general population or with other health care workers. The significant variables that were found to be predictive of burnout were age, clinical experience and professional development activities.  Identification of preventive interventions was not possible because most of the studies incorporated in this review did not include physiotherapists.



Physiotherapists demonstrated low to high levels of burnout in all three subscales of burnout. Given the predictive variables of burnout, it is recommended that physiotherapists and organizations initiate interventions to decrease burnout levels among young workers and encourage ongoing professional training. Future prospective studies are warranted in order to establish the association between the predictive variables, to explore the phenomenon of job engagement and to further investigate the effectiveness of interventions to prevent burnout among physiotherapists.


Key words:

Burnout, Physical therapist, Physiotherapist.

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