ALEXITHYMIA AND THE BIG FIVE PERSONALITY TRAITS AS PREDICTORS OF BURNOUT AMONG MEDICAL STUDENTS

  • A. HOLMAN “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi
  • Ioana-Maria GAVRILESCU “Grigore T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iasi
  • Iulia-Diana MURARU “Grigore T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iasi
  • F.D. PETRARIU “Grigore T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iasi

Abstract

ALEXITHYMIA AND THE BIG FIVE PERSONALITY TRAITS AS PREDICTORS OF BURNOUT AMONG MEDICAL STUDENTS (Abstract): Professional exhaustion or burnout in health professionals has become a serious problem, as previous studies documented its effects on personal and professional life, such as a lower quality of care, reduced level of patient satisfaction, and problems with patient safety. Aim: Our study aimed to assess the influence of several psychological, demographic and academic characteristics on Romanian medical students’ levels of burnout. Material and methods: Participants (315 students in general medicine) were administered three psychological instruments: Maslach Burnout Inventory, measuring the general level of burnout and its three dimensions: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment; Big Five Inventory, evaluating the Big Five Factors (dimensions) of personality: Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness; and Toronto Alexithymia Scale, assessing one’s difficulties with emotional processing and emotional awareness on three dimensions: difficulty of describing feelings, difficulty of identifying feelings, and externally-oriented thinking. Results show that students with higher levels of Neuroticism also report higher levels of Emotional Exhaustion. Also, more extravert, conscientious, open, and less neurotic students experience a greater sense of Personal Accomplishment, while students low on Agreeableness score high on Depersonalization. Associations between the three facets of burnout and demographic and academic variables were also found. Conclusions: such psychological profiles of burnout vulnerability among medical students could inform future academic guidance programs designed to prevent burnout at younger stages of medical training.

Author Biographies

A. HOLMAN, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi

Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences

Ioana-Maria GAVRILESCU, “Grigore T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iasi

Faculty of Medicine
Department of Preventive Medicine and Interdisciplinarity

Iulia-Diana MURARU, “Grigore T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iasi

Faculty of Medicine
Department of Preventive Medicine and Interdisciplinarity

F.D. PETRARIU, “Grigore T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iasi

Faculty of Medicine
Department of Preventive Medicine and Interdisciplinarity

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Published
2018-10-04
Section
PREVENTIVE MEDICINE - LABORATORY