My Well-Being in My Own Hands: Experiences of Beneficial Recovery During Burnout Rehabilitation

Abstract

Purpose To explore how burnout rehabilitation clients experienced their recovery from burnout and what they found beneficial in rehabilitation. Subjects Twelve clients whose burnout levels had declined during rehabilitation were interviewed at the end of the second period of the rehabilitation course. Methods Semi-structured interviews comprised the main material of the study and were analysed by content analysis. In addition, the Bergen Burnout Indicator (BBI-15) was used to measure the reduction in burnout levels. Results The analysis yielded a single overarching theme, My well-being in my own hands, and four categories. The overarching theme describes the overall process of recovery and the revelation experienced by clients that they are in charge of their own well-being. The process starts with Support from rehabilitation professionals, the client group and family or friends. The categories Awareness and Approval refer to specific changes in the attitude towards and recognition of one’s needs and limits. The category Regained joy describes the culmination of the recovery process manifested in different spheres of life. Conclusions The rehabilitation course proved particularly beneficial for individuals suffering from burnout. The accumulation of support, awareness and approval led to a revival of joy in life and greater perceived control over one’s well-being.

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Acknowledgments

The study was funded by Grants from the Academy of Finland (No. 258882) and the JYPE foundation awarded to Anne Mäkikangas.

Conflict of interest

Stela Salminen, Anne Mäkikangas, Marja Hätinen, Ulla Kinnunen and Mika Pekkonen declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Stela Salminen.

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Salminen, S., Mäkikangas, A., Hätinen, M. et al. My Well-Being in My Own Hands: Experiences of Beneficial Recovery During Burnout Rehabilitation. J Occup Rehabil 25, 733–741 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10926-015-9581-6

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Keywords

  • Interview
  • Qualitative research
  • Content analysis
  • Occupational health
  • Change