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Emergencias 2012; 24: 13-18

Professional burnout among basic life support caregivers in the Basque Country


Bilbao SAMUR - Protección Civil. Ayuntamiento de Bilbao. Spain. Emergentziak-Osakidetza, Spain.

Objectives: To quantify the level of professional burnout among emergency medical responders who provide basic life support in the Basque Country of Spain and to explore the association between professional burnout and conventional social and occupational variables. Methods: Exploratory cross-sectional study of a representative sample (reporting 95% confidence intervals [CI]; precision of 9%). The sample consisted of a stratified random selection of 98 emergency medical responders. The participants answered the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), a psychometric questionnaire covering social and occupational characteristics. Descriptive statistics were compiled and comparisons between subgroups were considered significant at a level of P<.05. Results: Eighty-seven emergency responders (88.8%; 95% CI, 80.8%-94.3%) had MBI scores compatible with professional burnout syndrome. The global score indicated high or very high risk of burnout in 61 (62.2%; 95% CI, 51.9%-71.8%) and moderate risk in 26 (26.5%; 95% CI, 18.1%-36.4%). Responders who had been working longer in the field were at higher risk of burnout (P=.031). A lower educational level correlated with lower scores on the subscale for feeling drained of emotional energy (P=.04). Longer experience in the profession correlated with a feeling of achieving less than one should (P=.031). Conclusions: The prevalence of risk of professional burnout syndrome is very high among emergency medical responders in the Basque Country and is higher than the prevalence identified among other groups of health care professionals. Spending a longer period in the profession is associated with high risk of burnout. However, additional variables should be explored to discover the possible reasons for burnout in these professionals.

Texto Completo: http://www.semes.org/revista/vol24_1/5_ing.pdf

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