Background: As health care workers face a wide of psychosocial stressors, they are at high risk of developing burnout syndrome, which in turn may affect hospital outcomes such as the quality and safety of care. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the moderating effect of job control on the relationship between workload and burnout.
Methods: 352 hospital workers from five Italian public hospitals completed a self-administered questionnaire including measures of emotional exhaustion, cynicism, job control and workload. Data were collected in 2013.
Results: In contrast to previous studies, the results of this study showed support for the moderation of job control in the relationship between workload and exhaustion. Furthermore, the results found support for the sequential link from exhaustion to cynicism.
Conclusion: This study showed the importance for hospital managers to implement management practices that promote job control and provide employee job resources in order to reduce the burnout risk.
Stress in workplaces is globally considered a risk factor for workers health and safety. Specifically, Healthcare sector is a constantly changing environment and hospitals are becoming even more demanding and stressful working contexts. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “a healthy workplace is one in which workers and managers collaborate to use a continual improvement process to protect and promote the health, safety and well-being of all workers and the sustainability of workplace [...]” . Despite the WHO’s purpose to promote and foster healthy work environments, in 2000 there were approximately two million work-related deaths . In health care sector, several studies have shown that health care professionals are exposed to a multiplicity of critical occupational stressors such as reduced time, low social support at work, increasing workload, uncertainty concerning treatment, emotional response to suffering and dying patients [3,4]. In this sense, healthcare workers are at high risk of suffering from severe distress, burnout and both mental and physical illness which may affect hospital outcomes such as the quality of offered care [4-7]. Particularly, in the last 35 years the diffusion of stress-related illness such as burnout has increased dramatically, becoming a global occupational issue affecting between 19% and 30% of employees in the general working population . Burnout among healthcare workers, mainly medical staff, was becoming an occupational hazard, reaching rates between 25% and 75% in some clinical specialty  and representing the 8% of the cases of occupational illness .
As defined by Leiter and Maslach [11,12], burnout is the cumulative negative reaction to constant occupational stressors concerning the misfit in the relationship workers develop with their jobs. In this sense, burnout is a psychological syndrome of chronic exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy, experienced in...