Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Levels of Burnout Among Oncology Nurses: A Systematic Review

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Problem Identification:

To determine (a) the average levels of emotional exhaustion (EE), depersonalization (D), and personal accomplishment (PA) among oncology nurses; (b) the prevalence of low, medium, and high levels of burnout for each dimension; and (c) the risk factors for burnout.

Literature Search:

A systematic review was carried out using the CUIDEN, CINAHL®, LILACS, ProQuest, PubMed, SciELO, and Scopus databases.

Data Evaluation:

The 436 search results obtained were reduced to a final sample of 27 articles after applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria.


With respect to levels of burnout, published results differ in their conclusions. In general, they indicate that oncology nurses feel little sense of PA and suffer from EE, although few signs of D exist.


Oncology nurses present high levels of EE and of reduced PA. A large proportion of these nurses are at risk of developing burnout. Age, work experience, workload, and communication skills are among the factors that may influence development of the syndrome.

Implications for Practice:

Programs should be developed to identify interventions that would reduce EE and enhance feelings of PA. In addition, risk factors and protective measures should be studied more comprehensively.

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