The Concept of Self-Care, Work Engagement, and Burnout Syndrome among Slovak Social Workers

Vladimír Lichner, Magdaléna Halachová, Ladislav Lovaš

Medailon autorů:

Dr. Vladimír Lichner is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Work, the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice. His main research topics focus on the self-care of social workers, and the risk-taking behaviour of various client groups. Pedagogically, he focuses on the theoretical, methodological and statistical aspects of the social work science, and also on the sociopathological phenomena of various social work client groups.

Dr. Magdaléna Halachová is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Work at the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice. She is professionally engaged in the risk groups of social work (unemployed, seniors, children endangered by CAN syndrome). Her research is focused on the modern social phenomena such as cyberbullying, social support via internet and social networks, self-care and the negative consequences of the workload of assisting professionals.

Prof. Ladislav Lovaš is a Professor of Psychology and Head of Department of Psychology at the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice. His research is focused on processes of self-regulation and self-control in the context of goal attainment and aggression. He has published more than 80 articles, and book chapters, as well as several monographs, including Aggression and Violence (Agresia a násilie) (2010), Personal and Situational Context of Self-Control (2011).


OBJECTIVES: This article focuses on the empirical verification of the connections between selfcare, burnout syndrome, and the level of job satisfaction of Slovak social workers. THEORETICAL BASE: An essential part of working in the conditions of the provision of care is uncertainty, a risky environment, time pressures and the serious consequences of one’s decisions. The area of selfcare is essential in this context because it is comprised of self-care that enables one to increase the overall well-being in the work environment and can prevent negative phenomena in their work. METHODS: The author’s questionnaire was used to evaluate the self-care performance among 405 social workers, which was used in combination with the MBI (Maslach, Jackson, 1981), and the UWES questionnaire (Schaufeli, Bakker, 2003). OUTCOMES: Four factors of self-care were identified. In addition, links between self-care and well-being at work, and burnout syndrome were identified. Self-care can therefore positively affect well-being and prevent burnout syndrome. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: It is necessary to focus on improving self-care in professionals particularly through educational activities not only during their practice but also during the training of social workers. A prerequisite for the expansion of these activities is the fact that only a professional with a good level of self-care is sufficiently prepared to work for the clients.

Klíčová slova:

self-care, performed self-care, work engagement, burnout, social workers, social practice

s. 62–75