Investigating the prevalence of burnout and turnover Intention in South African Healthcare Workers, a quantitative study

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While facing critical shortages of South African healthcare workers, concerns of burnout and turnover intention are particularly concerning in the South African healthcare sector. Healthcare workers face many challenges in South African which impacts their mental health as well as the level of patient care they provide. Although studies have been conducted on the prevalence of burnout in South African healthcare workers, it is unclear what becomes of the healthcare workers suffering from burnout. The quantitative study investigated the prevalence of burnout and turnover intention in South African healthcare workers using the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory and Turnover Intention Scale respectively. The study investigated the relationship between burnout and turnover intention in the sample as well as the relationship between demographic factors of the sample with burnout, and turnover intention. Through a self-administered online survey distributed through online healthcare workers platforms and networks, 189 responses from healthcare workers across South Africa were analysed. Results showed that 82% of the sample experienced moderate to high burnout and 67% of the sample indicate an intention to leave their role. An expected significantly strong positive correlation between burnout and turnover intention was found. A significant association between burnout and turnover intention was found with demographic factors of sector, setting, and age, and a significant association was found with burnout and qualification status. These results are concerning not only for the mental health of South African healthcare workers but for the healthcare system of South Africa. Without attention directed to the effects of burnout, South Africa will continue to lose healthcare workers, resulting in a further decrease in the standard of medical care provided due to the increased strain and workload placed on the healthcare workers who remain.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master’s in Psychology by Coursework and Research Report to the Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, 2022
Healthcare Workers, Turnover Intention, Turnover Intention Scale