The reduction of burnout and stress for primary care physiotherapists by proactive stress management.
The purpose of the organisational development project is to reduce burnout and stress for primary care physiotherapists by implementing a proactive stress management system including a stress control programme. This system is designed to eliminate or minimise psychosocial risks in the workplace and is also restorative by equipping the physiotherapists with practical coping skills. Burnout and stress are the number one occupational reasons for absenteeism in Europe. The moratorium on recruitment in the health care service increased personal and financial demands for patients and staff. The existing gap widening between the work requirements and the supports provided for health care workers. The literature findings promote the need for burnout prediction before providing an intervention, directed not only at the individual but the organisation for effective change. The HSE model was chosen to demonstrate the change in a precise way, containing assessment data, focus group themes, evidenced stress management policy and access to a programme devised to upskill the participants in stress regulation. Evaluation of the project was a mixed quantitative and qualitative style, including thematic analysis of the focus group content, Maslach Burnout Inventory, audit and questionnaires. The Kirkpatrick Framework evaluated the training elements of the project. The change project achieved its primary objectives by reducing burnout and stress for the physiotherapist, decreasing absenteeism, decreasing work and patient load, and improving control. There is a new era emerging in Irish healthcare where the care provider’s health requirements merit equal consideration with the health needs of the client.