This thesis aims to explore the predictors of burnout in adult community mental health services and whether DBT skills training is an effective intervention on outcomes for mental health staff.
The first chapter consists of a systematic literature review, examining the predictors of burnout in community based mental health staff. In total, 24 studies met the inclusion criteria and consisted of mainly cross sectional survey designs. The review partially supported existing literature on models of burnout, whilst emphasising the importance of personal factors on the development of burnout. The findings were limited due to the lack of studies with longitudinal designs.
The second chapter examines the empirical research investigating the relationship of brief DBT skills training on outcomes for mental health staff. 141 mental health staff were recruited at the beginning of the study who completed questionnaires on including burnout, wellbeing, stigma towards clients with BPD, organisational readiness for change, and attitudes towards evidence based practices pre and post training and 39 participants participated at follow up. ANOVA analysis found that the training was significant in reducing stigma towards clients with personality disorder and had a short term effect (from pre to post training) in reducing burnout. The clinical implications and the limitations of the research paper are discussed.
The third chapter discusses the papers referred to above with regard to theories and models of burnout potentially providing a psychological explanation for why some factors predict burnout better than others. It also explores why DBT skills training appears to have a small effect on burnout. A reflective commentary is provided at the close of the thesis.