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Arch Argent Pediatr. 2014 Feb;112(1):6-11. doi: 10.1590/S0325-00752014000100003.

Correlation between the educational environment and burn-out syndrome in residency programs at a university hospital.

[Article in English, Spanish]

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Servicio de Clínica Pediátrica, Departamento de Pediatría, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires.
Servicio de Medicina Familiar y Comunitaria, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires.



The educational environment (EE) is related to satisfaction and achievement. A high prevalence of professional burnout (BO) syndrome has been reported in the residency. The objective of this study was to evaluate the correlation between EE and the presence of burnout in residency programs at a university hospital.


Residents from five programs at Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires were evaluated. The following items were recorded: specialty, year of residency, sex, nationality and coexistence. The Postgraduate Hospital Education Environment Measure (PHEEM) that evaluates autonomy, teaching and social support, was used to measure EE. Burnout was measured with the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) that evaluates exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment.


Ninety two residents participated. The mean EE was 106.8 (more positive than negative environment). Out of the evaluated residents, 19.6% showed burnout. There were significant differences in the EE between the populations with and without burnout; mean values: 98.7 vs. 108.8 (p= 0.0056). A negative significant correlation was observed between EE and exhaustion (r= -0.24) and EE and depersonalization (r= -0.35) and a positive significant correlation was found between EE and personal accomplishment (r= 0.44). In the same sense, a greater correlation was observed between burnout and PHEEM autonomy subscale (r= -0.58; -0.41 and 0.46, respectively).


In the residency, a significant correlation was found between the EE and burnout (reverse with exhaustion and depersonalization, and direct with personal accomplishment). This correlation had greater strength and the same sense for items evaluating autonomy.

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