Burnout among doctors in residency training in a tertiary hospital

O A Ogundipe, A T Olagunju, V O Lasebikan, A O Coker
Asian Journal of Psychiatry 2014, 10: 27-32
The mental health of doctors is an issue of growing concern all over the world as it frequently interplays with their professional trainings and responsibilities. This study was done to determine the pattern and correlates of burnout among 204 doctors undergoing residency training. Eligible participants were interviewed using designed questionnaire, General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). The mean age of participants was 33.44±4.50. Ninety-three (45.6%) respondents reported burnout in the dimension of emotional exhaustion (EE), 118 (57.8%) in the dimension of depersonalization (D), and 126 (61.8%) in the dimension of reduced personal accomplishment (RPA). Factors that were significantly associated with all the dimensions of burnout were perceived heavy workload and presence of emotional distress (based on GHQ score of ≥3). The perception of call duty as being not stressful was negatively predictive of burnout in the emotional exhaustion subscale (odds ratio [OR]=0.52; 95%confidence interval [CI]=0.29-0.97; p=0.03), while emotional distress was a positive predictor (OR=6.97; 95%CI=3.28-14.81; p<0.001]. Absence of doctor-to-doctor conflict negatively predicted burnout in the depersonalization subscale (OR=0.36; 95%CI=0.17-0.76); p<0.01), while older age (OR=0.66; 95%CI=0.47-0.95; p=0.03) and adequate support from the management (OR=0.45; 95%CI=0.22-0.90; p=0.02) constituted negative predictors of burnout in the reduced personal accomplishment subscale. Burnout is highly prevalent among resident doctors. Evolvement of comprehensive mental health services, training supports, conflict de-escalation/resolution mechanisms, and periodic assessment are indicated to mitigate work related distress with burn out among resident doctors, while improving their productivity.

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