Burnout: a smouldering problem amongst South African speech-language pathologists and audiologists?S Afr J Commun Disord 1993; 40:71-84SA
The present study aimed to investigate the frequency of burnout occurring within the profession of speech-language pathology and audiology and to examine possible work situation factors unique to the profession, that may be correlated with burnout. A cross-sectional postal survey research design was used, including a standardised measure of burnout as well as a questionnaire inquiring about demographic and work situation variables. Subjects were randomly drawn from names obtained from the South African Medical and Dental Council. Results were analysed statistically using Pearsons correlations, Multivariate Analysis as well as Bonferroni T-tests. The main finding that emerged was that, as a group speech-language pathologists (SPLP's) and audiologists in South Africa are experiencing moderate levels of emotional exhaustion, low levels of depersonalisation as well as high levels of personal accomplishment. Therapists working in hospitals, mainly treating peripheral hearing disorders, working either as audiologists only or speech-language therapists and audiologists, with heavy caseloads and extensive paperwork, and perceiving themselves to be under large amounts of work pressure, appear to be the most susceptible to burnout.