Objectives To investigate levels and sources of job stress, job satisfaction and burnout experienced by radiation therapists (RTs) in an Australian cancer hospital, and determine the factors of emotion-focussed patient care and communication that contribute to RTs' stress and burnout. Methods One hundred and thirteen RTs working in a dedicated cancer hospital in Australia completed a self-report questionnaire. Results Twelve percent of RTs reported job stress while 73·5% reported job satisfaction in their current work roles. Up to 19% of RTs experienced burnout as measured on the Maslach Burnout Inventory scales. Emotion-focussed care and communication with patients was found to have links with job stress and burnout, but also with job reward and satisfaction. A range of organisational, personal and support factors were associated with RTs' experiences, including training and confidence in emotion-focussed patient communication. Conclusion Emotion-focussed care and patient communication contributes to both job stress and burnout, as well as job satisfaction. RTs' experience of job stress, satisfaction or burnout are likely to vary according to a range of personal, demographic and organisational factors. Copyright © 2013 Cambridge University Press.
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