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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care
Minerva Anestesiologica 2016 Oct 04
Burnout syndrome and wellbeing in anaesthesiologists: the importance of emotion regulation strategies
Teresa A. LAPA 1, 2, Filipa M. MADEIRA 1, Joaquim S. VIANA 2, José PINTO-GOUVEIA 3 ✉
1 Coimbra Hospital and University Centre, Coimbra, Portugal; 2 Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal; 3 Cognitive-Behavioural Research Centre (CINEICC), University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
Anaesthesiologists face stressful working conditions that can culminate in burnout syndrome. Despite various studies and protective measures which have attempted to prevent this situation, burnout continues to be a problem within the profession, impacting negatively on physicians’ lives and their performance. In this review article mechanisms and consequences of burnout are described in addition to individual strategies for stress management and burnout reduction with potential impact on health care quality and wellbeing in anaesthesiologists. Organizational strategies appear to have an important role in burnout reduction but need to be used in conjunction with individual programs. The latter are essential to both reducing stress and burnout in anaesthesiologists and improving happiness and wellbeing. New measures of emotion regulation strategies such as mindfulness, self-compassion, resilience and empathy promotion have been shown to be approaches with substantial supporting evidence for reducing burnout and improving stress management. The evaluation and implementation of these self-regulatory competencies is a challenge. Further research is necessary to identify which programs will best suit the needs of anaesthesiologists and to measure their effects on patient care and health care system quality.