1Ricercatrice di Psicologia dello sviluppo e dell’educazione, 2Ricercatore di Psicologia del lavoro e delle organizzazioni, Dipartimento di Pedagogia, Psicologia e Filosofia, Università di Cagliari
3Ricercatrice di Psicologia del lavoro e delle organizzazioni, Facoltà di Medicina e Psicologia, Università La Sapienza di Roma
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Key words: Burnout, Paediatric ward, Doctor-child relationship
Background - Numerous studies show that health care providers are at risk of burnout.
Variability linked to the unit in which they work, the presence of chronic and disabling
conditions and excessive contextual demands have been found. Few studies focus on
burnout in paediatric wards.
Objectives -To check for syndromes among doctors that work in the paediatric ward and analyse the main protection factors.
Materials and methods - A questionnaire designed to reveal signs of burnout, a semi-structured interview on protective factors against the risk of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, and software for the analysis of the content from the interviews. Qualitative and quantitative survey carried out with doctors working in a paediatric ward (N=12). Comparison of the levels of burnout with the averages of the Italian normative sample and analysis of the content from the interviews.
Results - Participants have an average level of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and low personal accomplishment at work. No doctor is in full-blown burnout. The protective factors identified from burnout are organizational, relational and individual. Among the first factors were: organization at the hospital (efficiency and complexity of the service), teamwork, relational climate, rationalization of emergency room visits and synergy with GP paediatricians. Among the relational and individual factors were: relationships with colleagues, personal space for patients, awareness of working with patients-children and the love for their job.
Conclusions - The doctors surveyed dwell on the problems of both criticism and resources, taking into account organizational and relational aspects. Studies confirm that burnout is not a problem that affects only the individuals but also the broader context in which they work.
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