Stress and Burnout During the First Year of Residence Training in a University Teaching Hospital: Preliminary Date

Background: Resident physicians are particularly vulnerable to suffering from work stress. The stress of residency places residents at risk for burnout and may have detrimental personal and professional effects as well as a negative influence on patient care. Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the levels of perceived stress, psychological distress and burnout among a cohort of junior physicians during their first year or residency in a university teaching hospital. Methods: The study was designed as a 12-month, prospective cohort study, with surveys administered via an online tool at three designated time points: baseline, 6 and 12 month. Participants were emailed a link to the survey at the relevant time points and electronic responses were collected. The survey measures included the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) organized into three subscales: emotional exhaustation (EE), depersonalitzation (DP), and personal accomplishment (PA); and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). Burned-out residents were defined as having a high EE or DP, or a low PA. Results: At baseline we obtained a response rate of 68% (52 of 76 eligible residents), with about 40% of losses in the following surveys. The mean age was 27.5 (3.2) years, about 60% of participants were women and they worked in medical specialties. Overall, burnout presence was positive in 34% of residents at 6 month, and in the 36% one year after start residency. Moreover at baseline 13% of participants showed psychological distress and this increased to 36 % at the end of the first year of residence. The mean perceived stress levels score was 25.3 (5.3) at baseline, which raised to 27.2 (5.1) and 29 (4.3) at 6 month and a year of residence.Conclusions: Our data indicate that about 40% of residents surveyed had psychological distress and could be considered burned out by one year of residency training. The findings reinforce the importance of promoting resident wellness early in residency and to educate physicians regarding self-awareness and personal health.


Navines R*, Olive V, Ariz J, Lopez J, Tortajada M, Varela P, Valdés M and Martín-Santos R

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