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December 2021

Factors related to occupational stress or burnout among music therapists

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to obtain demographic data from 500 randomly selected music therapists and to correlate these data with degrees of occupational stress or burnout as measured by the six subscales of the Malasch Burnout Inventory (MBI). Of 250 replies received, 239 (47.8%) were acceptable for data analysis. Multiple correlation and multiple regression strategies were used to analyze degree of burnout according to hours worked per week, number of years as an RMT, type of institution, sex, age, and years at present job. The correlations were low, indicating that, for this sample, no relationship exists between the predictor variables and the six subscales of the MBI. Results of this study may have been confounded due to the number of years that respondents had worked. One hundred and eighty-four subjects (76.9%) had worked five years or less; many of these respondents may not have worked long enough to experience burnout. The total sample for this study scored in the medium range of burnout on five of the six MBI subscales. Many respondents included critical comments concerning their work as music therapists. The most prevalent criticisms focused on insufficient pay, lack of respect and support from administrators and having to perform activities outside of their field. Sixty-eight subjects had worked five years or more, both as RMT's and at their present jobs. Fifty-two of these subjects scoreda moderate degree of burnout on at least one of the six subscales, and 29 scored a high degree of burnout on at least one subscale. Preventive measures that have been found helpful in retarding or preventing burnout are present.

Note: Malasch-Burnout-Inventory.

Keyword(s): occupational, stress, music-therapist, burnout.

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