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Abstracts and Programme, EUROANAESTHESIA 2008: Education, Research and Presentation

The anaesthetist: A “burning” profession


Pagliardini, P.; Barbuzzi, M.; Silvestri, A.; Valentini, A.; Adrario, E.

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European Journal of Anaesthesiology (EJA): May-June 2008 - Volume 25 - Issue - p 227
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Background and Goal of Study: The BURNOUT is an individual suffering and also a score of an organization and social-economic inefficienty (JOB BURNOUT) (1). Are our anaesthetists risking burnout? Is the hospital organization or specific personality traits the cause of this?

Materials and Methods: In this explorative study the job burnout and the work organization have been evaluated by the “Organizational Checkup System” (OCS) test (2) that measures the work relationship and the work life areas. The individual and personologic dimensions have been evaluated by the “Big Five Questionnaire” (BFQ) test (3) that analyzes personality aspects. The “Defense Mechanism Inventory” (DMI) test (4) has been utilized to investigate the defence mechanisms. 22 physicians (mean age 45 y) and 25 residents (mean age 30 y) of clinical and hospital anaesthesia and resuscitation departments filled out three anonymous tests. 26 female and 23 male. 39% married, 10% fiancè, 37% single and 4% separeted. 53% without kids, 10% with one kid, 14% with two kids and 2% with more than two kids.

Results and Discussion: Emotion stability, open-mindedness and friendship are the dominant personality traits in the studied sample. The aggression (TAO) and the projection (PRO) characterize the senior physicians' defence mechanisms, the PRO is a positive predictive value. The overturnment (REV) is a positive predective value for the residents and also for non-married and no kid physicians. According to the OCS test energy and involvement are predominant aspects. Over 55 y physicians show more work disaffection, discrepancy between work loading and the work really did, identification and social integration but more work efficiency justified by the experience. They posetively evalueted the leadership and the team coesion. All the physicians feel discrepancy between proposed work and lived work. The change is felt insufficient and competence development positively by the major part of the physicians.

Conclusion(s): Private life, personality traits and defense mechanisms could be the burnout stressor factors. According to the OCS test data analysis physicians' energy or exaustation depend on work life experience, culture of specific organization and emotional involvement in own professional practise. If the physicians have more work control are more able and efficient. The “change” seems the possible best resolution for a possible physician burnout inside a specific work area.

© 2008 European Society of Anaesthesiology