Organisational climates with good person-environment fit have reduced burnout in services for people with learning disabilities


Stress associated with working to support people with learning disabilities has been reported as a factor in staff burnout. This review of literature aimed to investigate whether there was a relationship between organisational climate and staff burnout.

The search identified 21 articles which were included in the review. These were separated into two categories. The first group of studies were from earlier periods and not surprisngly focused on issues relating to on deinstitutionalisation. Later studies reported findings in relation to work-stress theories, including ‘person–environment fit’ and demand control.

The authors conclude from the studies they reviewed that organisational climates which have a better ‘person–environment’ fit promote greater job satisfaction and reduced burnout.

They make recommendations for future research which they believe should focus on social or therapeutic aspects of the environment within services.

Does organizational climate impact upon burnout in staff who work with people with intellectual disabilities? A systematic review of the literature, Thompson L and Rose J, in Journal of Intellectual Disabilities September 2011 vol. 15 no. 3 177-193

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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