The effect of structural empowerment on burnout and subsequent quality of patient care in mental health nurses in New Brunswick

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University of New Brunswick


Although nursing burnout has been generally associated with lack of empowerment and poorer patient outcomes, research about the mental health nurse population is sparse. This study tested a hypothesized model examining the associations between structurally empowering work environments on burnout and subsequent quality of patient care amongregistered nurses working in mental health care in New Brunswick. A cross-sectional survey was conducted and SPSS was used to analyze descriptive statistics, correlations, and three mediation models using Hayes’ PROCESS macro. Significant correlations were found between scales for structural empowerment and cynicism (-.42), interpersonal strain and access to information (-.36), and interpersonal strain and quality of care (-.39).Results showed that the direct association of structural empowerment on cynicism was significant (r = -.48, β = -.32, t = -2.69, p = .01, R2 = 16.7). The COVID-19 pandemic prevented further participant recruitment, leading this study to act as a pilot for further research. Keywords: structural empowerment, burnout, quality of care, mental health nurse, psychiatric nurse