Date of Award

Summer 8-24-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Health Sciences


Health and Medical Sciences


Genevieve Pinto Zipp, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Michelle L. D’Abundo, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Lynda Goodfellow, Ed.D.


Burnout, Respiratory Care, Respiratory Therapists, Supervisory Support.


Background: Respiratory therapists (RTs) provide patient-centered care in diverse clinical settings for various patients. RTs most frequently work with acutely injured and critically ill patients. Working with these populations often takes an emotional toll on the practitioner, resulting in high rates of burnout. A high prevalence of burnout has been detected among health professionals. Even though RTs face unique stresses in the workplace, there is a lack of research addressing burnout among these professionals. Because workplace stressors are not expected to decrease in the near future in healthcare organizations, the search for protecting factors against burnout, such as supervisory support, is particularly relevant. Purpose: This study aimed to examine the relationships between the three dimensions of burnout syndrome (EE, DP& PA) and the perceived supervisory support within the respiratory therapy profession. Methods: A cross-sectional correlational survey design was used in which recruitment was done through posting the link of the survey on the AARC-Connect platform and respiratory therapy Facebook closed groups. The link included: 1- the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS (MP), 2- the Survey of Perceived Supervisor Support, and 3- demographic questions. Results: Of 295 RTs who completed the survey, 81% were female, and only 19% were males. 34% of RTs met the criteria for severe burnout, and more than 60% were emotionally exhausted. Also, there were significant differences between the mean scores of EE, DP, PA for RTs, and the medicine norm. In addition, RTs, on average, experienced a low level of supervisory support (49.5%) at their workplace. Interestingly, a negative correlation was found between burnout levels and the perception of supervisory support levels (rs = –.262, p < .001). Conclusion: Burnout is prevalent among RTs in the United States. Also, overall burnout is significantly related to how much supervisors support RTs. Lastly, this study provides insights on the specific positive impact of supervisory support on burnout among respiratory therapists.