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Working with Death: Psychosocial Risks and Protective Factors at Work in Funeral and Health Care Professions

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Occupational Safety and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2021) | Viewed by 4951

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, University of Turin, 10124 Turin, Italy

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Guest Editor
Department of Business, Law, Economics and Consumer Behaviour “Carlo A. Ricciardi”, Università IULM, 20143 Milan, Italy
Interests: positive psychology; well-being at work; neuromanagement; neuromarketing
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The health care professions and the operators of the funeral industry (including necroscopic, mortuary, funeral, crematoria, and cemetery services) share the same experience of death and the emotions associated with it on a daily basis. These workers are affected by high levels of suffering during the course of their work and often have the task of assisting with the end of life rites that can facilitate the mourning process for the friends and relatives of the deceased. Therefore, they are exposed to a high risk in terms of mental and physical discomfort, with negative consequences for both the quality of their life and the offered service. The main symptoms include physical and psychological problems, dissatisfaction, burnout and secondary traumatic stress, up to the onset of counterproductive behaviors and the development of addictions (with or without the use of substances). These working difficulties are aggravated by the management of the relations with patient’s families or with deceased’s  mourners.

In this Special Issue, we invite authors to contribute with research that examines health care professions and funeral operators’ work conditions, with attention to risk and protective factors of wellbeing and of health at work. Papers investigating the role of compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, compassion satisfaction, exhaustion, coping strategies (e.g., humor), stigma, and emotion management among health care professions and operators of the funeral industry will be especially welcome.

Dr. Lara Colombo
Dr. Margherita Zito
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Funeral industry operators
  • Health care professions
  • Psychosocial risks at work
  • Secondary traumatic stress
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Compassion fatigue
  • Protective factors at work
  • Wellbeing and health at work
  • Physical discomfort
  • Work stigma
  • Coping strategies

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

16 pages, 394 KiB  
Article
Funeral and Mortuary Operators: The Role of Stigma, Incivility, Work Meaningfulness and Work–Family Relation to Explain Occupational Burnout
by Gloria Guidetti, Annalisa Grandi, Daniela Converso, Nicoletta Bosco, Stefania Fantinelli, Margherita Zito and Lara Colombo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6691; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136691 - 22 Jun 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3948
Abstract
The funeral and mortuary sector, including funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoria, is a largely neglected sector in regard to the study of occupational factors that can affect the quality of working life. The present study aimed at overcoming this gap by investigating job [...] Read more.
The funeral and mortuary sector, including funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoria, is a largely neglected sector in regard to the study of occupational factors that can affect the quality of working life. The present study aimed at overcoming this gap by investigating job demands and resources that may affect burnout levels. Data were collected through a self-report questionnaire involving funeral industry employees (N = 229) from cemetery, morgues, crematoria and funeral agencies in a Northern Italian region. The survey was cross-sectional and non-randomized. Results reveal that among job demands, stigma consciousness, supervisor incivility and work-to-family negative spillover significantly affect levels of burnout, whereas meaningfulness of work and family-to-work positive spillover may represent relevant resources to counter the onset of burnout. The results of this study contribute to new insights into the psychosocial working conditions that affect occupational wellbeing among the funeral industry sector by also giving insight into how to promote resources to prevent burnout. Full article
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