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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 302-308

Workplace burnout and psychological health of military personnel in a Nigerian barrack

Department of Community Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Stella O Udeh
University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_31_22

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Background: Burnout is an adverse response to job stressor with antecedents, correlates, and consequences. Well-managed burnout brings about stable mental health and increased productivity. Aim: This study examined the prevalence of burnout and psychological health among Nigerian military personnel in Abakpa Cantonment Enugu; and the effect of demographic variables on their mental health. Materials and Methods: The study was a cross-sectional analytical study carried out between July and August 2020 using a multistage sampling method. The data collection instrument was a self-administered questionnaire with three different sections – demography, abbreviated Maslach Burnout Inventory, and the general health questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12). Analytical tools were frequency distribution tables and regression analysis. Results: A total of 261 military personnel were studied: 80.5% were males, while 19.5% were females. The age range was 18–57 years with a mean age of 38 years ± 10 and more than half of the participants are between 28 and 42 years. Most respondents had at least secondary level of education and 63.2% had worked for <20 years. Burnout and psychological distress were both of mild degree with prevalence at 55.2% and 65.1%, respectively. Severe psychological distress was observed in males (1.9%), single (1.9%), noncommissioned (1.7%), and personnel working 10–14 h/day (4.2%). Higher status/rank is associated with less degree of burnout across subscales. Years of service were positively predictive of burnout, while age had a negative effect on burnout. Increasing levels of education predicted a reverse effect on average burnout. Conclusion: The burnout level in the assessed personnel was mild. This is associated with a corresponding mild psychological distress implying these personnel burnout is very well handled. Periodic and regular screening for psychological health is, therefore, advised. It will enable any deviation to be detected on time, for prompt management. This is also to ensure that only psychologically fit army officers carry out their duties.

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