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Abstracts and Programme: EUROANAESTHESIA 2011: The European Anaesthesiology Congress: Evidence-based Practice and Quality Improvement

Burnout syndrome in Spanish anesthesiologists


García, C. A.; Soler, E.; Bermejo, S.; Corcoy, M.; Arroyo, R.; Vallès, J.

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European Journal of Anaesthesiology: June 2011 - Volume 28 - Issue - p 11-12
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Background and Goal of Study: Burnout (BO) syndrome was described by Maslach in 1981 as an individual's abnormal response to chronic emotional stress characterized by three components: emotional tiredness/exhaustion (E), depersonalisation (D) and low personal realization (PR); it have had little research in anesthetic population.

The largest publication about BO in anesthesia (1) shows high levels of E, D and low levels of PR in 20, 20 and 36% of respondents respectively.

The aim of this study was to assess levels of BO between spanish anesthesiologists and to identify risk factors.

Materials and Methods: The instrument used to assess the BO was the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). This questionnaire presents statements on feelings and thoughts in regard to the study subject's interest in work; is comprised of 22 items that measure E, D and PR. Respondents categorise their response to each question using a standard 7-point response format with anchored points never to every day. We attached the MBI to an Internet schedule application used by 10 anesthesia departments in Spain. BO was defined as scores that were high for E (≥27), high for D (≥10) and/or low for PR (≤33). Relationship between “burnout” and age, gender, organizational tasks, years practicing anesthesia, on call hours per month, kind of work schedule (regular/changeable) were assessed. T-test, χ2 and logistic regression were used for statistics.

Results and Discussion: 224 questionnaires were filled out (62.5% males, 37.5% females). Mean age was 40.1 years ± 9.8.


71.4% of respondents showed high scores in at least one of the three components.

No association between studied variables and E or D was found. Male sex (OR 2.32; CI 1.3-4.2) and staff grade/fellow without organizational tasks (OR 2.8;CI 1.1-6.6) were identified as risk factors for low personal realization.

Conclusion(s): Male and staff/fellow without organizational tasks present, respectively, 2 and 3-fold risk of low PR. Greater rates of high depersonalisation and low personal realization compared with previous publications were found. It's the largest study about BO prevalence among anesthesiologists in Spain.


1. Kluger MT et al. Job satisfaction, stress and burnout in Australian specialist anesthetists. Anaesthesia 2003.58:339-45.
    © 2011 European Society of Anaesthesiology