Burnout and Coping Strategies in Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Staff

Isabelle Butcher, Rachael Morrison, Omobolanle Balogun, Heather P. Duncan, Kate St Louis, Sarah Webb, Rachel Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Staff in pediatric and neonatal intensive care units (PICU and NICU) experience high rates of burnout due to the highly stressful environment. There is growing literature describing stress and burnout, but to date, no review of the evidence specific to pediatric and neonatal intensive care. For the development of interventions to reduce and prevent burnout, there needs to be a better understanding of this evidence. Little is known about coping strategies employed by critical care staff; it is important to collate and critique this literature to inform interventions. The objective of this systematic review was to examine burnout occurrence and coping strategies among staff working in PICU and NICU. Methods: A systematic search of Web of Science (WoS), Scopus, Medline, AMED, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Nice Evidence, and EMBASE was conducted following PRISMA guidelines. Results: Studies measuring burnout and/or coping in PICU and NICU were included in the review. Twenty-two studies met the inclusion criteria, the majority of which used a quantitative cross-sectional design. Of the included studies, 14 measured burnout, and 17 measured coping. Conclusion: Staff working in pediatric and neonatal intensive care settings experience high rates of burnout. While staff may have the ability to use coping strategies, often time and lack of awareness mean they don’t. Psychologically informed interventions are required to prevent burnout and to provide staff with the tools and resources to develop healthy coping strategies in order to boost their well-being.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology
Early online date20 Apr 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0). This license permits copying and redistributing the work in any medium or format, as well as adapting the material for any purpose, even commercially.

Open Access funding provided by Aston University.


  • burnout
  • coping strategies
  • neonatal care
  • pediatric intensive care
  • systematic review


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