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J Physiol Pharmacol. 2007 Nov;58 Suppl 5(Pt 1):243-52.

Professional burnout and stress among Polish physicians explained by the Hobfoll resources theory.

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  • 1Institute of Psychology, Opole University, Opole, Poland. alicja.glebocka@uni.opole.pl


Professional burnout is a complex set of different components. Emotional exhaustion, related to depersonalization and a sense of lowered personal achievements, is the most important phenomenon, which likely starts the whole process. A significant cause of the burnout is the loss of resources. According to Hobfoll's conservation of resources theory, the burnout syndrome is defined as a process of expenditure, loss and run-down developing gradually over time. It occurs when the restoration of the resources in the form of cognitive, emotional, and physical abilities does not appear. The demanding attitudes of patients, lack of social support and psychophysical fatigue constitute only a few causes of the burnout of doctors. In the Polish conditions the difficulties of the economical nature additionally occur. The presented research on the relationship between the professional burnout (measured by The Scale of Professional Burnout MBI), cynicism (described by a cynicism subscale of MMPI-2), and stress (evaluated by The Questionnaire of Self Esteem of Profits and Losses by Hobfoll) has been conducted among the group of Polish doctors of various specialties. The results confirmed that the most important recourses for all participants are power, prestige, and family. In general, doctors provided a relatively low assessment of gains achieved in the last 12 months in respect of hedonistic and vital resources, spiritual resources, family resources, and material and political resources.

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