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Acad Psychiatry. 2016 Feb;40(1):85-8. doi: 10.1007/s40596-015-0459-x. Epub 2015 Nov 17.

An Exploratory Analysis of Work Engagement, Satisfaction, and Depression in Psychiatry Residents.

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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.



This exploratory study aims to measure work engagement levels in psychiatry residents at three psychiatry residency programs using the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES). In addition, the study investigates the relationship between total engagement and its subscales, resident satisfaction, and a depression screen.


Recruitment of 53/79 residents from three psychiatry residency programs in Illinois was completed. The residents were administered a questionnaire consisting of the UWES, the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (Prime-MD) depression screen, and a residency satisfaction scale. Statistical analysis using independent samples t test and a one-way analysis of variance was used to assess differences on engagement total score and subscales and satisfaction scale. A logistic regression was used with the engagement subscales and the satisfaction scale as predictors of belonging to the depressed or non-depressed group.


Psychiatry residents scored in the high range for total engagement and all its subscales except for vigor which was in the moderate range. Residents who screened positive for depression reported lower total engagement than those who were negative on the depression screen. Vigor was the only significant predictor (p = .004) of being in the depressed group after logistic regression. Total engagement and the subscale of dedication significantly predicted overall residency satisfaction (β = .473, p = .016).


Higher total UWES-15 and its subscales of vigor and dedication are correlated with a lower rate of screening positive for depression and higher residency satisfaction. This exploratory study lends support for further study of this psychological construct in medical training programs, but replication is needed.


Burnout; Depression; Engagement; Residents; Satisfaction

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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