Health and burnout of home health care assistants: impact of a training intervention

  • Francisco Javier Saavedra Macías Universidad de Sevilla. Dept. Psicología Experimental
  • Lara Murvartian
  • Natividad Vallecillo
Keywords: Caregivers; Burnout; Health; Psycho-educative intervention; Home Health Care Assistant; Dementia.


There is a growing need for care in developed countries, so the number of home health care assistants has increased exponentially. The literature has pointed out that this professional group is at high risk for a variety of health problems. Despite its importance, there are no described specific training interventions for it. This study describes a course for a group of female caregivers. A pre-post study is carried out to evaluate its effectiveness considering the following variables: the psychosocial state of health, the burnout and the dysfunctional thoughts about caregiving. The repeated measures ANOVA was used whenever possible and the Wilcoxon-test or the Mann Whitney-test were used as nonparametric tests. Dysfunctional thoughts were reduced after the course, being the effect size medium to large. Social dysfunction was reduced only in the group of women who were also family caregivers. We conclude that professional caregivers can benefit from brief training.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Francisco Javier Saavedra Macías, Universidad de Sevilla. Dept. Psicología Experimental
Lara Murvartian

Assistant Researcher, Dep. Experimental Psychology, University of Sevilla (Spain)

Natividad Vallecillo

Assistant Researcher, Dep. Experimental Psychology, University of Sevilla (Spain)


Bartley, M. (1994). Unemployment and ill health: Understanding the relationship. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 48, 333–337. doi: 10.1136/jech.48.4.333

Bayley, S., Scales, K., Lloyd, J., Schneider, J., & Jones, R. (2015). The emotional labour of health-care assistants in inpatient dementia care. Ageing and Society, 35, 246–269. doi: 10.1017/S0144686X13000573

Bover, A., Taltavull, J.M., Gastaldo, D., Luengo, R., Izquierdo, M.D., Juando-Prats, C., …Robledo, J. (2014). Quality of life in Latin American immigrant caregivers in Spain. Gaceta Sanitaria, 29(2), 123–126. doi: 10.1016/j.gaceta.2014.09.009

Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences (2nd ed) Hillsdale, MI: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Colombo, F., Llena-Nozal, A., Mercier, J., & Tjadens, F. (2011). Help Wanted? Providing and paying from long –term care. Paris, France: OECD Health Policy Studies.

European Commission (2009) Ageing Report: Economic and Budgetary Projections for the EU-27 Member States (2008-2060). Brussels: European Economy. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.1993101

Fujiwara, K., Tsukishima, E., Tsutsumi, A., Kawakami, N., & Kishi, R. (2003). Interpersonal and Conflict, Social Support, and Burnout among a Home Care Workers in Japan. Journal of occupational Health, 45, 313–320. doi: 10.1539/joh.45.313

Gerhard, F. (2000). The relationship between optimism and burnout in nursing assistants (doctoral dissertation). University of Hartford, Hartford, CT.

Gil–Monte, P. R. & Peiró Silla, J. M. (2000). Un estudio comparativo sobre criterios normativos y diferenciales para el diagnóstico del síndrome de quemarse por el trabajo (Burnout) según el MBI–HSS en España [A comparative study on normative criteria and Differentials for the diagnosis of burning syndrome

for work (burnout) according to the MBI-HSS in Spain]. Revista Psicología del Trabajo Organizaciones, 16(2), 135–49. doi: 10.1590/S1413-73722002000100003

Gil-Monte, P. R. & Peiró, J. M. (1997). Desgaste psíquico en el trabajo: el síndrome de quemarse. Madrid, España: Síntesis.

Goldberg, D. y Williams, P. (1996). Cuestionario de Salud general GHQ. Barcelona: Masson.

Grau, A., Suñer, R., & García, M.M. (2005) Burnout syndrome in health workers and relationship with personal and environmental factors. Gaceta Sanitaria, 19(6), 463–70. doi: 10.1016/S0213-9111(05)71397-2

Hewko, S.J., Cooper, S.L., Huynh, H., Spiwek, T.L., Carleton, T.L., Reid, S., & Cummings, G. (2015). Invisible no more: a scoping review of the health care aide workforce literatura. BMC Nursing, 14(38), 1–17. doi: 10.1186/s12912-015-0090-x

IMSERSO (2005). Cuidado a las personas mayores en los hogares españoles. Madrid, España: Instituto de Mayores y Servicios Sociales (IMSERSO).

Jagger, C. (2017, Sep 25) Living longer, but with more care needs: late-life dependency and the social care crisis [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Lobo, A., Pérez-Echevarria, M. J. & Artal, J. (1986). Validity of the scaled version of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) in a Spanish population. Psychological Medicine, 16, 135-140.

Losada, A., Montorio, I., Izal, M. & Márquez, M. (2006). Estudio e intervención sobre el malestar psicológico de los cuidadores de personas con demencia. El papel de los pensamientos disfuncionales [Study and intervention on the psychological distress of caregivers of people with dementia. The role of dysfunctional thoughts]. Madrid, España: IMSERSO.

Losada, A., Shurgot, R., Knight, B.G., Márquez, M., Montorio., I., Izal, M., … Ruiz, M.A. (2006). Cross-Cultural study comparing the association of familialism with burden and depressive symptoms in two samples of Hispanic dementia caregivers. Aging and Mental Health, 10(1), 69–76. doi: 10.1080/13607860500307647

Maslach, C., Jackson, S. E., & Leiter, M. P. (1996). Maslach Burnout Inventory Manual (3rd ed.). Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc.

Rosenthal, R. (1991). Meta- analytic procedures for social research (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Ruiz-Robledillo, N., & Moya-Albiol, L. (2015). Effects of a cognitive-behavioral intervention program on the health of caregivers of people with autism spectrum disorder. Psychosocial Intervention, 24, 33–39. doi: 10.1016/j.psi.2015.01.001.

Saavedra, J., Bascón, M., Arias, S., Calderón, M., & Mora, D. (2013). Women caregivers of dependent relatives and health: Effects of the participation in a stress mamagement workshop. Clínica y Salud, 24(2), 85–93. doi: 10.5093/cl2013a10.

Saavedra, J., Bascón, M.J., Rojas, M.J., & Sala, A. (2014). Psychosocial health of family caregivers and professionals: Association with sociodemographic and psychological factors. Anuario de Psicología/The UB Journal of Psychology, 44(2), 229–243.

Schneider, J. (2017). Paid Caregivers: a new research challenge. Aging & Mental Health, 21(7), 758–760. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2016.1156049.

Spector, A., Revolta, C., & Orrell, M. (2016). The impact of staff training on staff outcomes in dementia care: a systematic review. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 31, 1172–1187. doi: 10.1002/gps.4488.

Wasserstein, R.L. & Lazar, N. A. (2016). The ASA's statement on p-values: context, process, and purpose, The American Statistician. doi: 10.1080/00031305.2016.1154108.

How to Cite
Saavedra Macías, F. J., Murvartian, L., & Vallecillo, N. (2020). Health and burnout of home health care assistants: impact of a training intervention. Anales De Psicología / Annals of Psychology, 36(1), 30-38.
Clinical and Health Psychology