Burnout and moral resilience in interdisciplinary healthcare professionals

Inga Antonsdottir, Cynda Hylton Rushton, Katie Elizabeth Nelson, Katherine E. Heinze, Sandra M. Swoboda, Ginger C. Hanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims and objectives: To examine demographic and work characteristics of interdisciplinary healthcare professionals associated with higher burnout and to examine whether the four domains of moral resilience contribute to burnout over and above work and demographic variables. Background: Healthcare professionals experience complex ethical challenges on a daily basis leading to burnout and moral distress. Measurement of moral resilience is a new and vital step in creating tailored interventions that will foster moral resilience at the bedside. Design: Cross-sectional descriptive design. Methods: Healthcare professionals in the eastern USA were recruited weekly via email for 3 weeks in this cross-sectional study. Online questionnaires were used to conduct the study. The STROBE checklist was used to report the results. Results: Work and demographic factors, such as religious preference, years worked in a healthcare profession, practice location, race, patient age, profession and education level, have unique relationships with burnout subscales and turnover intention, with the four subscales of moral resilience demonstrating a protective relationship with outcomes above and beyond the variance explained by work and demographic characteristics. Conclusions: Higher moral resilience is related to lower burnout and turnover intentions, with multiple work demographic correlates allowing for potential areas of intervention to deal with an increase in morally distressing situations occurring at the bedside. Additionally, patterns of significant and non-significant relationships between the moral resilience subscales and burnout subscales indicate that these subscales represent unique constructs. Relevance to clinical practice: Understanding the everyday, pre-pandemic correlations of moral resilience and burnout among interdisciplinary clinicians allows us to see changes that may exist. Measuring and understanding moral resilience in healthcare professionals is vital for creating ways to build healthier, more sustainable clinical work environments and enhanced patient care delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-208
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of clinical nursing
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • burnout
  • ethics
  • healthcare professionals
  • healthy work environment
  • interdisciplinary
  • moral resilience
  • nurses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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