Date of Award

Fall 1983

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Health Administration


The purpose of this study was to investigate stress and job burnout among hospital administrators in the greater St. Louis area. The General Hypothesis were formulated. Five ( 5) sub-hypothesis were tested. ( 1) One or more work component can be identified that lead to stress and burnout of Administrators ; ( 2) One or more health problems among Administrators are work related; (3) Individual Administrator's mood is dependent on an outcome of the work environment; (4) Stress and burnout affects the Administrators family and social life ; ( 5) Stress and burnout can be identified among Administrators regardless of hospital size, ownership and nature of governance.

The data gathered for this study was obtained by the questionnaire technique. The questionnaire were mailed to fifty-two ( 52) hospital Administrators in the greater St. Louis Area. Sixty- Five ( 65) percent rate of return was achieved on this questionnaire. The collected data was tabulated and analyzed. Several findings provided support for the five ( 5) sub- hypothesis. Summary of main findings are delineated as follows:

1. Stress and Burn- Out.

  • a . Forty- five ( 45) percent of Administrators sampled have experienced burned-out from job stress.
  • b. Seven Administrators started to experience symptoms by the end of the second year as compared to nine ( 9) of them experienced symptoms by the end of third year.

  • c. On the Burned Out Scale, majority of the Administrators were on O to 2 whereas two of the Administrators were on 6 , three were on 7 , and only two Administrators were 9 on the scale. The highest of the scale was set at 10 which was completely burned out.

  • d . Twenty Administrators were on stage two of burnout, nine of them were on stage one followed by five of them on stage three. The highest of this stage was set at seven.

  • e. Several work components were identified as stress producers among the Administrators . The main stress indicators were identified as: status, incongruity, close supervision by Board, conflicting and unclear job descriptions, inadequate recognition of work, too many bosses, incompetent board, and several others. Of the twenty- seven (27) work stress listed, the Administrators indicated twenty ( 20) of them present on their job. However, the presence of stress were among few Administrators.

2. Health Problems.

  • a. Most of the Administrators did not experience many health problems.

  • b. For those who experienced health problems, the two frequently encountered were colds or sore throats, tight feelings in stomach, etc.

  • c. Several Administrators had occasionally experienced changes in body functions. Some of the high percentages of them experienced shortness of breath, pain and stiffness in arms/legs, leg cramps, acid indigestion, gas pains, bloated feelings and several others.

3. Mood.

  • a . The Administrators experienced various moods at different scales.
  • b. Almost all of the Administrators were moody.
  • c. Some of the work related moods identified were: tense, anger, worn-out, unhappy, felt sorry for things , confused, panic, listless, peeved, anxious, discouraged, restless, fatigued etc.

4. Family and Social Life.

  • a. Data collected was inconclusive . This was due to the fact that several Administrators did not completely answer the questions in the "optional" section of the questionnaire.
  • b. One of the questions which was answered completely in the "optional" section was the quantity of meals consumed with their family. In view of most sociological studies of family, family togetherness etc in the United States, it is fairly conclusive that Administrative work affected their family and social life. This is concluded because they often worked late hours, took work home, and seldom had the opportunity to have meals with their families.

5. Stress and Burn-Out as Related to Hospital Demographics.

  • a. This section of the study confirmed the hypothesis that stress and burnout was present among Administrators regardless of hospital size, ownership and governance. More detailed analysis of the data is presented in Chapter 4 and the final Chapter presents a full summary of the findings as well as recommendations for further study. Literature Review is delineated in Chapter 2 of this thesis.