Impact of Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Service on Burnout Development in Eight Intensive Care Units. A National Cross-Sectional Study

Published:February 17, 2022DOI:


      This study aimed at investigating the effects of an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) service on Burnout syndrome (BOS) development in the intensive care unit (ICU).


      The authors conducted a cross-sectional descriptive study.


      Eight ICUs within 5 tertiary hospitals in 1 country.


      Intensive care practitioners (nurses, physicians, and respiratory therapists).


      Using an online questionnaire, the Maslach Burnout Inventory Human Services Survey for Medical Personnel. In addition, demographic variables, workload, salary satisfaction, and caring for COVID-19 patients were assessed. Participants were divided based on working in an ICU with ECMO (ECMO-ICU) and without (non-ECMO-ICU) ECMO service, and burnout status (burnout and no burnout).

      Measurements and Main Results

      The response rate for completing the questionnaire was 36.4% (445/1,222). Male patients represented 53.7% of the participants. The overall prevalence of burnout was 64.5%. The overall burnout prevalence did not differ between ECMO- and non-ECMO-ICU groups (64.5% and 63.7, respectively). However, personal accomplishment (PA) score was significantly lower among ECMO-ICU personnel compared with those in a non-ECMO-ICU (42.7% v 52.6, p = 0.043). Significant predictors of burnout included profession (nurse or physician), acquiring COVID-19 infection, knowing other practitioners who were infected with COVID-19, salary dissatisfaction, and extremes of workload.


      Burnout was equally prevalent among participants from ECMO- and non-ECMO-ICU, but PA was lower among participants in the ICU with an ECMO service. The reported high prevalence of burnout, and its predictors, requires special attention to try to reduce its occurrence.

      Key Words

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