Do Polish doctors suffer from occupational burnout syndrome? An attempt to find an answer – Pilot study
More details
Hide details
Division of Health Psychology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Collegium Medicum, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland
Collegium Medicum, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland
The Second Psychiatry and Psychiatric Rehabilitation Clinic, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Maciej Załuski   

Collegium Medicum, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2019;26(1):191–197
Introduction and objective:
A nationwide survey, carried out in Poland in 2013, showed that 42% of an examined group of doctors reported occupational burnout syndrome (OBS). The phenomenon of OBS among medical personnel shows a relationship with perceived stress scale (PSS) scores. The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of OBS in a group of Polish doctors, and the relationship with selected risk factors and personal resources.

Material and methods:
A cross-sectional study using quantitative methodology was used with the application of a questionnaire method and correlation design. Questionnaires were administered to 318 doctors (42 different specialties) working in medical facilities in Poland. All participants in the study completed two standardized questionnaires: Link Burnout Questionnaire (LBQ), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and responded to the questions on a proprietary questionnaire. ANOVA variance analysis and analysis of regression was performed.

The results of the measurement of four aspects of occupational burnout: psychophysical exhaustion (PE), commitment to relationships with patients (CP), effectiveness in performed work (EW), and existential expectations (EE), were in the medium and high levels range. Every second medical doctor who participated in the research declared a high degree of occupational burnout in each of the aspects of OBS. The high level of PSS scores, the large number of duties per month, the short work experience (years of employment) and the low number of holiday leaves, were the predictors of occupational burnout in the group of doctors taking part in the study.

The prevalence of the signs of OBS among Polish doctors is consistent with the results of research in other countries. Failures in the interventions taken to reduce stress seem to co-exist with the severity of signs of burnout.

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.
Pines A. Work burnout: Causes, results and ways of coping. Hebrew: Ben-Shemen: Modan Publishers; 2011.
Leka S, Jain A. Health impact of psychosocial hazards at work: an overview. Nottingham: World Health Organization; 2010: 30–62.
Gazelle G, Liebschutz J, Riess H. Physician Burnout: Coaching a Way Out J Gen Intern Med. 2015; 30: 508–513.
Tziner A, Rabenu E, Radomski R, Belkin A. Work stress and turnover intentions among hospital physicians: The mediating role of burnout and work satisfaction Revista de Psicología del Trabajo y de las Organizaciones. 2015; 31: 207–13.
Basu S, Qayyum H, Mason S. Occupational stress in the ED: a systematic literature review. EMJ 2017; 34: 441–447.
Pulcrano M, Evans SR, Sosin M. Quality of Life and Burnout Rates Across Surgical Specialties: A Systematic Review. JAMA Surg. 2016; 151(10): 970–978.
van der Wal R, Jacqueline Wallage J, Bucx M. Occupational stress, burnout and personality in anesthesiologists. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2018; 31: 351–356. (access: 2018.05.23).
Moss M, Good Vicki, Gozal D, Kleinpell R, et al. A Critical Care Societies Collaborative Statement: Burnout Syndrome in Critical Care Health-care Professionals: A Call for Action. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2016; 194: 106–113.
Mol M, Kompanje E, Benoit D, Bakker J, et al. The Prevalence of Compassion Fatigue and Burnout among Healthcare Professionals in Intensive Care Units: A Systematic Review. PLoS One 2015; 10: 8.
Fernandez_Sanchez J, Perez-Marmol J, Blasquez A, Santos-Ruiz A, et al. Association between burnout and cortisol secretion, perceived stress, and psychopathology in palliative care unit health professionals. Palliat Support Care 2018; 16: L 286–297, (access: 2018.08.13).
Maslach Ch, Schaufeli W, Leiter M. Job burnout. Annu Rev Psychol. 2001; 52: 397–422.
Scarella T, Nelligan J, Roberts J, Boland RJ. Effect of call organization on burnout and quality of life in psychiatry residents. Asian J Psychiatr. 2017; 25: 27–30.
Jovanovic N, Podlesek A, Volpe U, Barrett E, Ferarri S, Rojnic, et al. Burnout syndrome among psychiatric trainees in 22 countries: Risk increased by long working hours, lack of supervision, and psychiatry not being first career choice. Eur Psychiatry. 2016; 32: 34–41.
Hudek-Knezevic J, Maglica B, Krapic N. Personality, organisational stress and attitudes toward work as a prospective predictors of professional burnout in hospital nurses. Public Health. 2011; 52: 538–549.
Levert T, Lucas M, Ortlepp K. Burnout in psychiatric nurses:contributions of the work environment and a sense of coherence. South Afr J Psychol. 2000; 30: 36–44.
Lee R, Seo B, Hladkyj S, Lovell B, Schwartzmann L. Correlates of physician burnout across regions and specialties: a meta-analysis. Hum Resour Health. 2013; 11:48. hhtps://–4491–11–4.... (access: 2018.07.01).
Amoafo E, Hanbali N, Patel A, Singh P. What are the significant factors associated with burnout doctors? Occup Med. 2015; 65: 117–121. (access: 2018.08.13).
Sanfilippo F, Noto A, Foresta G, Santonocito C, et al. Incidence and Factors Associated with Burnout in Anesthesiology: A Systematic Review. Biomed Res Int. 2017. (access: 2018.06.13).
West C, Dyrbye L, Erwin P, Shanafelt T. Interventions to prevent and reduce physician burnout: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet 2016; 388: 2272–2281.
Soler J, Yaman H, Esteva M, Dobbs F, et al. Burnout in European family doctors: the EGPRN study. Fam Pract. 2008; 25: 245–65.
Babyar J. They did not start the fire: reviewing and resolving the issue of physician stress and burnout. J Health Organ Manag. 2017; 31: 410–417.
Meunier Y. Burnout, a Growing Occupational Risk for Physicians. IJCRIMPH 2016; 8: 307–308.
Yuguero O, Marsal J, Monserrat E, Soler-Gonzalez J. Occupational burnout and empathy influence blood pressure control in primary care physicians. BMC Fam Pract. 2017; 18: 63, (access: 2018.08.14).
Elbarazi I, Loney T, Yousef S, Elias A. Prevalence of and factors associated with burnout among health care professionals in Arab countries: a systematic review BMC Health Serv Res. 2017; 17: 491, (access: 2018.08.14).
Gaweł-Dąbrowska D, Maciaszek J, Łuc D, Borowicz W, et al. [Differentiation of the level of professional burnout among medical staff of Wroclaw Medical University Hospital]. Public Health Forum 2017; 2:61–68 (in Polish).
Rama-Maceiras P, Jokinen J, Kranke P. Stress and burnout in anaesthesia: a real world problem? Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2015; 28(2): 151–8.
Clough B, March S, Chan R, Casey L, et al. Psychosocial interventions for managing occupational stress and burnout among medical doctors: a systematic review. Syst Rev. 2017; 6(1): 144.
Naczelna Izba Lekarska. [Working conditions, conflict of interest and assessment of the suitability of soft competences in the professional practice of doctors and dentists]. 2013. (access:2018.10,28 (Polish).
Jaworowska A. [LBQ. Link burnout Questionnaire]. Warszawa: Pracownia Testów Psychologicznych; 2014: p. 5–57 (in Polish).
Juczyński Z, Ogińska-Bulik N. [NPSR.Tools for measuring stress and for coping with stress]. Warszawa: Pracownia Test ów Psychologicznych; 2009.p. 11–21 (in Polish).
Gaweł-Dąbrowska D, Maciaszek J, Łuc D, Borowicz W, et  al. [Differentiation of the level of professional burnout among medical staff of Wroclaw Medical University Hospital]. Public Health Forum 2017; 2:61–6 (in Polish).
Kakiashvili T, Leszek J, Rutkowski K. The medical perspective on burnout. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2013; 26(3): 401–412.
33. Zdrowia, [There is no clear decline in the number of hours worked by doctors during the week] 2018. 05.06.2018.12:30 (access: 2018.08.13) (in Polish).
Kamiński Ł. [E-health report through the eyes of Poles]. Warszawa 2017. 14:04 (access: 2018.08.13) (in Polish).
Panagioti M, Panagopoulou E, Bower P, Lewith G, et. al. Controlled Interventions to Reduce Burnout in Physicians: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. 2017; 177(2): 195–205. https:// 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.7674.
Łada A, Segeś-Frelak J. [Medicine without borders? Skilled migrants in medical professions in Poland and Germany]. Warszawa: Fundacja Instytut Spraw Publicznych; 2017; 13–128 (in Polish).
Wrześniewska-Wal I. Mobility of Polish physicians. Probl Hig Epidemiol 2012; 93: 209–215.
OECD Health at a Glance 2015, (access: 2018.08.15).
OECD Health at a Glance: Europe 2016, (access: 2018.08.15).
Krajewski R. [Doctors and dentists – specialists A.D. 2015]. Gazeta Lekarska. 2015; 6–7 (in Polish).
Naczelna Izba Lekarska [Resolution No. 13 XIV National Congress Physicians May 26, 2018, on the creation of mechanisms for prevention burnout among doctors] 2018 (Polish) (access: 2018.12.20).