An exploration of burnout in mental health settings: contributions of clinical supervision

Sutton, Nicola Jayne (2015). An exploration of burnout in mental health settings: contributions of clinical supervision. University of Birmingham. Foren.Psy.D.

PDF - Redacted Version

Download (2MB)


Stress and fatigue experienced in the workplace are commonly referred to as ‘burnout’. Burnout is a widely recognised psychological syndrome that can have a negative impact for organisations, employees and service users alike. Both individual and organisational interventions have been suggested as strategies through which burnout can be managed. One organisational strategy for preventing and alleviating the symptoms associated with burnout is clinical supervision. While clinical supervision is often cited as an effective intervention for preventing and mitigating the symptoms of burnout, comparatively little evaluative research has explored this relationship in mental health Nurses and Healthcare Assistants, particularly in forensic settings. This thesis aims to explore burnout in mental health settings, with a particular focus on the role of clinical supervision as a leverage point in the prevention and alleviation of burnout. A systematic literature review examining the current evidence base concerning the relationship between burnout and clinical supervision in mental health settings demonstrates the paucity of research available. Salient methodological limitations impact on the ability to draw definitive conclusions regarding this relationship. Chapter Three presents a critique of a widely used psychometric measure employed to assess the level of burnout amongst workers, the Maslach Burnout Inventory. The critique of this inventory highlighted a number of strengths and limitations of the measure. Finally, Chapter Four presents an investigation into the relationship between clinical supervision and burnout across Medium Secure Units. Results demonstrate some support for the use of clinical supervision as a leverage point in managing burnout within mental health nursing populations, particularly with regard to increased feelings of competence and successful achievement in one’s job. Recommendations for future practice and research are also presented.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: Other
Other Funders: National Health Service
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year