Factors associated with secondary traumatic stress and burnout in neonatal care staff: A cross‐sectional survey study

Zoe Scott, Sara O'Curry, Kiki Mastroyannopoulou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: High rates of secondary traumatic stress and burnout have been found across nursing populations. However, few studies have focused on neonatal staff.

Objective: The objectives of this article are to explore the prevalence and severity of secondary traumatic stress (STS) and burnout in neonatal staff, and identify risk factors and protective factors for STS and burnout within this population with the aim of informing future staff support.

Methods: A quantitative, cross‐sectional study using a survey design was conducted; 246 neonatal staff reported measures of STS, burnout, self‐compassion and satisfaction with ward climate.

Results: Neonatal staff reported high rates of moderate–severe STS and burnout. STS and burnout were negatively associated with self‐compassion and satisfaction with ward climate, suggesting them to be protective factors against STS and burnout. STS was found to be a risk factor for burnout and vice versa.

Conclusion: Interventions that increase understanding of STS and burnout, nurture self‐compassion, provide support and enhance stress management could help mitigate the impact of STS and burnout amongst neonatal staff.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-309
Number of pages11
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Issue number2
Early online date15 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021

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