Being satisfied at work does affect burnout among psychiatrists: A national follow-up study from New Zealand.
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Burnout and job satisfaction in psychiatrists has been an area of considerable interest. Longitudinal studies on the subject are lacking, rendering it difficult to establish whether burnout changes with time or whether low job satisfaction may predict high burnout with time in psychiatrists. AIMS: This longitudinal study of burnout and job satisfaction in a cohort of New Zealand psychiatrists was conducted to examine if initial scores on the Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS) predicted scores on the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) three years later and vice versa. METHODS: Three questionnaires (a socio-demographic questionnaire, the JDS and the MBI) were sent to all registered psychiatrists in 2008, which included all those who had participated in a study three years earlier. Scores on these three questionnaires were compared for those who had participated in both studies. RESULTS: The overall number of psychiatrists reporting a high level of emotional exhaustion (EE) did not change across the two phases. The number of psychiatrists reporting high levels of depersonalization (DP) increased from 31 (13%) to 45 (20.2%); the mean DP score for the cohort significantly increased by 17.5% (p < .01). Those reporting reduced personal accomplishment (PA) increased from 90 (37.7%) to 98 (43.9%); the mean PA score for the cohort significantly reduced by 14.5% (p < .001). Low scores on skill variety, task Identity, and feedback of the JDS were significantly correlated with high EE scores three years later, whereas low scores on skill variety were significantly correlated with high scores on DP, and low scores on task significance and feedback were correlated with low scores on PA three years later. CONCLUSIONS: Paying attention to aspects of job satisfaction may assist us in developing specific interventions for psychiatrists who may score high on different dimensions of burnout.