Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Ji Shen


Self-care is critical in minimizing the symptoms of burnout among human services professionals, but specific information on the role of self-care among social workers in healthcare settings is limited. This correlational study was designed provide a fuller understanding of this relationship. Orem's theory of self-care and the theory of reasoned action and planned behavior served as the theoretical foundations of this study. The sample included 185 members of the National Association of Social Workers, who volunteered to participate in this study. Participants completed online versions of the Maslach Burnout Inventory and Self-Care Assessment Work Sheet. Correlation and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were performed to test research hypotheses concerning associations between self-care and aspects of burnout among social workers in healthcare settings. The results showed that higher levels of self-care were significantly correlated with lower scores on measures of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and higher scores on measures of personal accomplishment. No significant differences were found by practice setting in mean ratings of specified self-care activities. More years of social work practice were associated with lower burnout. Implications for positive social change include highlighting the need for self-care to prevent burnout, promoting health and wellbeing among social workers, and saving organizations the costs associated with employee burnout. Future research on self-care and burnout will be beneficial to the profession to expand current literature and highlight trends between social work practice and client populations served.