Home > Issue 3 (Volume 12) > Burnout syndrome in the professionals employed in special education schools


Introduction: The working environment in special education school units may lead to personnel burnout syndrome for the various professionals working in such field.

Objective: To investigate the extent of burnout syndrome among special education school units’ personnel and the factors affecting its manifestation.

Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted, with a convenience sample of 346 people, working at special education school units. The Copenhagen Burnout Inventory was used for data collection.

Results: Cronbach’s alpha internal consistency value was 0.85 regarding personal burnout, 0.73 regarding professional burnout, and 0.83 regarding burnout related to students. As for the participants, 45% were teachers, 23.7% school nurses, 12.9% speech therapists and 18.4% other professionals. The average on all three subscales of the inventory was <50, which shows a low level of burnout. According to the results of the multivariate linear regression, permanent (coefficient b=8.0, 95% CI=3.2-12.9, p=0.001) and contract staff (coefficient b=15.4, 95% CI=8.4-22.4, p<0.001) presented higher levels of personal burnout, in comparison to substitute personnel. Permanent staff (coefficient b=8.9, 95% CI=3.9-13.9, p=0.001) and contract staff (coefficient b=10.0, 95% CI 95=2.9-17.2, p=0.006) presented higher levels of professional burnout, in comparison to substitute staff. Finally, the higher the work experience in the specialty, the higher the level of burnout related to students (coefficient b=0.4, 95% CI=0.01-0.7, p=0.042).

Conclusions: The special education school units’ personnel go presented low levels of burnout. It is proposed that more studies would be conducted in the future, where, apart from the demographic characteristics of the participants, other factors that contribute to personnels’ burnout syndrome would be examined, such as work environment characteristics.

Keywords: Burnout, Professionals, School, Special education

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