Being satisfied at work does affect burnout among psychiatrists: A national follow-up study from New Zealand
Waikato Clinical School, University of Auckland, Hamilton, New Zealand.International Journal of Social Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 1.15). 04/2012; 59(5). DOI: 10.1177/0020764012440675
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.
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ABSTRACT: Burnout is a stress-related syndrome that often affects professionals working in emotionally loaded and highly interpersonal environments. Mental health professionals (MHPs) are long known to be at high risk to develop the burnout syndrome, but this has rarely been investigated in professionals in an early phase of career. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the presence of the burnout syndrome and of depressive symptoms among early career psychiatrists and ‘non-medical’ MHPs. One hundred MHPs (including 50 psychiatrists and 50 non-medical MHPs) were screened for the presence of burnout and depression, with the Maslach Burnout Inventory and the Beck Depression Inventory – revised, respectively. The relationships of burnout with socio-demographical and professional characteristics were also explored. We confirmed the presence of burnout among both groups of early career MHPs, but psychiatrists had a significantly higher degree of emotional exhaustion and a lower sense of personal accomplishment, while non-medical MHPs adopted more frequently depersonalization as a coping strategy and had higher scores for depression, which is associated with higher level of burnout. The risk of developing burnout should be properly addressed in training curricula and strategies to overcome it should be systematically taught, in order to promote personal well-being and efficient team work in mental health settings.
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ABSTRACT: Ein Klischee über Psychotherapeuten, Psychologen und Psychiater ist, dass diese angeblich alle selbst psychische Probleme haben. Der vorliegende Übersichtsbeitrag analysiert den Forschungsstand zum Thema. Grundlagen sind eine Datenbankrecherche zu „(mental disorders OR suicide) AND (psychologists OR psychiatrists OR therapists OR psychoanalysts)“ in PubMed sowie die Analyse von Reviews zum Thema. In der Datenbankrecherche wurden nur 10 Publikationen identifiziert, die sich auf etwaige psychische Probleme von Behandlern bezogen. Diese belegen z. T. eine erhöhte Suizidalität, erhöhte psychische Belastungen wie z. B. Depressionen, erhöhte Burn-out-Risiken und erhöhte Kindheitsbelastungen (z. B. sexueller Missbrauch, Parentifizierung). Es bestehen deutliche Forschungsdefizite. Im Hinblick auf den Umgang mit solchen Risiken wird u. a. auf die Themen Selbsterfahrung, Eigentherapie und weitere Hilfen für belastete „Psychos“ eingegangen. Abschließend werden Implikationen für Forschung und Praxis diskutiert. Abstract A cliché about psychotherapists, psychologists and psychiatrists is that they themselves apparently all have mental problems. This review article analyzes the state of research on the topic based on a databank search in PubMed using the terms “(mental disorders OR suicide) AND (psychologists OR psychiatrists OR therapists OR psychoanalysts)” and an analysis of relevant review articles. In the databank search only ten publications were identified which related to any mental problems of therapists. These partially confirmed an increased risk of suicide, increased mental problems, such as depression, increased burnout risk and increased problems in childhood (e.g. sexual abuse and parentification) and showed that research deficits clearly exist. With respect to coping with such risks, the topics training therapy, personal therapy, self-care, and additional opportunities are discussed. In conclusion the implications for research and practice are discussed.
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