A workplace well-being game intervention for health sciences librarians to address burnout





Games, Wellness, Burnout, Workplace Well-Being, Emotional Exhaustion, Work Engagement, Stress


Objective: The authors measured burnout among health sciences librarians at our institution and determined whether a serious game intervention could improve personal and workplace well-being.

Methods: A modified American Medical Association Mini-Z burnout survey was administered to library faculty in 2016 and both library faculty and staff in 2017. A three-month team-based game was implemented and assessed as an intervention to improve well-being among library employees. After the game, the burnout survey was re-administered to employees in 2018.

Results: Library faculty scored poorly on burnout indicators, with 38%–73% of faculty reporting emotional exhaustion and 54%–91% reporting job-related stress over the years. In 2017, 62% of library staff members reported experiencing burnout and 38% indicated they felt a great deal of stress because of their jobs. Regarding the game intervention, 70% of post-game survey respondents reported that the game encouraged them to socialize with colleagues. Qualitative coding of survey responses resulted in 4 themes describing the most enjoyable aspects of the game: sociability, motivation, game play, and fun. Employees found that the game was a useful strategy for encouraging a more social culture with fun activities.

Conclusions: Similar to previous studies of librarians and health professionals, health sciences librarians at our institution experienced burnout. Although the game intervention did not significantly reduce burnout or increase job satisfaction, it improved collegiality and recognition. Therefore, a workplace well-being game can encourage team building but may not sufficiently address the root causes of health sciences librarian burnout.


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Original Investigation