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A Multicenter Investigation of Caring Behaviors and Burnout Among Oncology Nurses in China

Shen, Aomei MS, RN; Wang, Ying MS, RN; Qiang, Wanmin RN

doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000680
Article: PDF Only

Background Job burnout could negatively affect nursing care provided. However, little is known about burnout and caring behaviors among oncology nurses in China.

Objectives The aims of this study were to investigate the status of burnout and caring behaviors among oncology nurses in China, to examine the relationship between them, and to identify factors that affect caring behaviors.

Methods A nationwide multicenter study was performed in 6 public cancer hospitals in June 2016. Data were collected through an online survey with instruments of a sociodemographic and occupational characteristics questionnaire, the Caring Behavior Inventory, and the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Descriptive statistics, independent-samples t tests or 1-way analysis of variance, Pearson correlation analyses, and multiple regression analyses were applied.

Results A total of 3100 oncology nurses were invited to participate; 3014 valid questionnaires were returned. The percentages of oncology nurses experiencing high levels of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, or diminished personal accomplishment were 30.16%, 19.97%, and 47.28%, respectively. Caring Behavior Inventory scores were significantly and negatively correlated with emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and diminished personal accomplishment. Depersonalization, diminished personal accomplishment, level of family concern, and original nursing degree level showed significant negative influence on caring behaviors.

Conclusions Burnout (depersonalization and diminished personal accomplishment), family concern, and original nursing degree were negatively related to oncology nurses' caring behaviors.

Implications for Practice Initiatives in oncology nursing in China are needed that focus on improving job burnout and emphasize humanistic oncology nursing care, such as caring nurses' personal factors, creating a harmonious working environment, strengthening coping skills, and building a caring organizational culture.

Author Affiliations: Department of Nursing, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, China.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Wanmin Qiang, RN, Department of Nursing, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, 22 West Huanhu Rd, Tianyta St, Hexi District, Tianjin, China 300060 (

Accepted for publication October 8, 2018.

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