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The European Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 0213-6163

Abstract

SOCHOS, Antigonos  and  BOWERS, Alexis. Burnout, occupational stressors, and social support in psychiatric and medical trainees. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2012, vol.26, n.3, pp.196-206. ISSN 0213-6163.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4321/S0213-61632012000300006.

Background and Objectives: Although previous research reports that psychiatrists experience greater work-related distress than other specialties, very little is known about how psychiatric trainees compare to their medical colleagues. The aim of this study was to compare psychiatric and general medical trainees in burnout, work stressors, and social support and investigate potential buffering effects of social support. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 112 psychiatric and 72 general medical trainees, based in the UK. Participants completed three questionnaires on-line: Maslach Burnout Inventory, Specialist Doctors´ Stress Inventory, and Social Support Scale. Results: According to the findings, psychiatric trainees reported less burnout, fewer time demands, more consultant and emotional support but less family support than general medical trainees. In addition, social support moderated the effects of specialty on burnout, as it substantially reduced depersonalisation in medical but not in psychiatric trainees. Conclusions: Findings may reflect recent changes in psychiatric training in the UK. Factors contributing specifically to medical trainees´ burnout and factors potentially preventing psychiatric trainees from utilising social support need to be explored in future research. The cross-sectional design and the low response rate were the main limitations of the study.

Keywords : Burnout; Occupational stressors; Social support; Moderation effects; Psychiatric trainees; Medical trainees.

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