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Supportive and palliative care

2365 - Psychological discomfort among operatives in oncology: Can burn-out be considered the main issue?


08 Oct 2016


Supportive and palliative care


Marco Romeo


Annals of Oncology (2016) 27 (6): 469-473. 10.1093/annonc/mdw386


M. Romeo1, R. Giampieri1, T. Meletani2, S. Formentini2, M. De Lisa1, M.G. Baleani1, R. Berardi1

Author affiliations

  • 1 Oncology, AOU Ospedali Riuniti Ancona Università Politecnica delle Marche, 60126 - Ancona/IT
  • 2 Oncology, AOU Ospedali Riuniti Ancona Università Politecnica delle Marche, 61100 - Ancona/IT


Abstract 2365


Several trials have underlined the significant impact of burn out on the operatives' quality of life in oncology, whilst others pointed out a feeling of poor psychological training. The aim of this study was to screen the personnel (including physicians and nurses) working in our Institution in order to draw paths for training and psychological support.


Four Evaluation tools, including Link Burn Out Questionnaire (LBQ), Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI), STAXI 2, CBA-VE have been administered to all the operatives (Physicians, Nurses and Healthcare Assistants) working at the Department of Medical Oncology of Ancona.


72 operatives out of 75 have been included in our analysis. Male/female ratio was 19/56; median age was 37 years (range 20-62); 32 were physicians (17 oncologists and 15 fellows), 28 nurses, 12 Healthcare Assistants. Regarding the LBQ, 7% of them were in burn-out (3 person according to the Relational Deterioration scale and 2 according to the Disillusion scale). Regarding the BDI, 11% of the operatives showed depression; furthermore 57% had sleep problems, 15% low self-exteem issues and 33% excessive self-criticism. Depression was not related to age, years of work and professional role and relational decline, while there was an association between depression and professional ineffectiveness (p = 0.0007), disillusion (p = 0.001) and psychophysical exhaustion (p = 0.0007). CBA VE highlighted high anxiety levels in 24% of the operators, low well-being in 14% and psychological suffering in 14%. According to the STAXI 2, 15% had a high expression of aggressiveness, 10% was over-controlled. The aggressiveness was statistically related to depression (p = 0.001) evaluated by BDI, disillusion (p = 0.01), relational decline (P = 0.04) and psychophysical exhaustion (p = 0.002) measured by LBQ. An individual and group support path will be carried out for 37 operatives.


This study showed that aggressiveness, depression and anxiety play an essential role and need to be taken into account together with burn out in screening the psychological discomfort among oncology operatives. Re-tests will be administered to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions.

Clinical trial identification

Legal entity responsible for the study

Marco Romeo Oncology




All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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