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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Cross-Sectional Study of the Effects of Job Burnout on Immune Function in 105 Female Oncology Nurses at a Tertiary Oncology Hospital

Jing Cui, Yun-Hong Ren, Feng-Juan Zhao, Ying Chen, Ying-Fan Huang, Ling Yang, Xue-Mei You

Nursing Department, Guangxi Medical University Affiliated Cancer Hospital, Nanning, Guangxi, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e929711

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.929711

Available online: 2021-02-22

Published: 2021-05-04


BACKGROUND: Nurses who work in hospitals experience a high level of burnout and the relationship between immune variables and burnout syndrome has yet to be elucidated. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of job burnout on immune function in female oncology nurses in a tertiary oncology hospital in Guangxi, China. The aspects of the human immune system evaluated were humoral and cellular immunity and complement components 3 (C3) and 4 (C4).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We administered the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey (MBI-GS), which includes scales for emotional exhaustion, depersonalization (DP), and personal accomplishment (PA), to measure variables related to immune function in 105 female nurses in a tertiary oncology hospital in Guangxi, China. Levels of humoral immunity and C3 and C4 were detected with immune turbidimetry. Cellular immunity was assessed with indirect immunofluorescence.
RESULTS: A Spearman rank correlation analysis revealed that levels of C3, C4, and CD4- and CD8-positive T cells were significantly associated with burnout symptoms (P<0.05, P<0.01, and P<0.05, respectively). Furthermore, there was a correlation between demographic data and humoral and cellular immunity (both P<0.05). Multivariable linear regression analysis showed that C4 levels were closely related to DP (P<0.05) and that CD4 and CD8 levels were closely related to PA (P<0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that DP and PA have an impact on immune function, and that timely psychological and behavioral interventions can be used to reduce the degree of job burnout among nurses and regulate their immunity, thus enabling them to better serve patients.

Keywords: Burnout, Professional, Immunity, Nurses, Oncology Service, Hospital