Introduction: The term «burnout syndrome» in nursing is used to describe a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion related to work related stress. According to Fallowfield, the quality of life is determined by the interaction between physical, mental and social well being. The term physical activity includes all forms of exercise of the human body, sports and workout which activate the muscles of the body and require increased energy consumption.
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of physical activity on burnout syndrome and the quality of life of nurses and nurse assistants working in psychiatric centers in Greece.
Material and Method: In total 100 mental health nurses and nurse assistants, working in psychiatric centers in the 4th health region (Eastern Macedonia and Thrace in Greece), participated the study (49 women and 51 men, mean age=35.64±9.46 years). The 36-item short-form health questionnaire (SF- 36) was used to assess the quality of life, the Maslach Burnout Inventory to assess burnout syndrome and the questionnaire of Godin & Sephard to measure the physical activity in the individual’s free time. A probability value of 5% was considered as statistically significant. All calculations were conducted using SPSS for Windows (v. 16.0, SPSS Inc, Chicago, IL).
Results: The levels of burnout in our sample of nurses and nurse assistants working in psychiatric centers were low. We also found that mental health nurses do not experience a high level of professional exhaustion. Moreover, physical activity does not affect the levels of burnout. However, it was the only variable that influenced positively the personal achievement (F=2.296, p=0.041). We also concluded that physical activity had an impact on the quality of life of the participants. More specifically, the mean values were 81.15±19.42 for the subscale physical functioning, 68.75±35.6 for the physical role, 51.80±17.28 for bodily pain, 50.38±9.5 for the subscale of general health, 71.87±21.93 for vitality, 61.66±40.8 for emotional role and finally 61.64±10.63 for mental health. Conclusions: Physical activity seems that has no effect on the levels of burnout. However, we found that it has an impact on the quality of life of mental health nurses. In conclusion, the levels of burnout among mental health nurses working in psychiatric wards are quite low.Πλήρες άρθρο