147 Training Forgiveness. A Novel Approach to Reducing Physician Burnout
Abstract:Study Objective:Psychological risk factors that lead to impaired work performance, negatively impacting mental and physical health, have emerged as a concern across clinical settings. Although depression and anxiety are linked to poor physician mental health, physician burnout characterized by work related stress due to chronic exhaustion from clinical work, cynicism toward meaning of the medical profession, and feelings of inadequacy toward work related accomplishments, may be an even
... stronger indicator of well-being. Literature suggests that work satisfaction among physicians is rapidly deteriorating owing to high rates of burnout and poor mental health. Although the relationship between work burnout (WB) and negative affectivity has been well documented, the association with positive affect, such as trait forgiveness (TF) has been overlooked. On that note, research shows that lifetime stress severity and lower levels of forgiveness predict worse mental and physical health. Since TF has been linked strongly with healthy workplace relationships, positive occupational outcomes and general well-being, its association with WB remains to be investigated. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to explore the link between TF and WB among physicians. We hypothesized that TF would be associated with reduced levels of burnout.Method:A total of 62 (F=23) medical residents at a Teaching Hospital consented for the study. Residents were administered surveys on WB (Maslach Burnout Inventory), workplace bullying, personal bullying (PB), interpersonal rejection sensitivity (IRS), perceived stress scale (PSS), TF, anxiety, and depression, all of which were anonymously submitted via electronically. Hierarchical multiple regression (HMR) models were used to determine the associations between WB, work environment social factors and TF. A p-value of <0.05 was considered significant.Results:The mean age 33.1 ± SD 4.2 years. HMR analysis using WB as main outcome contained 6 predictors: Model 1 contained depression and anxiety, Model 2 added PB, Model 3 added IRS and PSS, Model 4 added TF. Anxiety and TF were the only significant predictors (p= >0.05) accounting for 10.4% and 17.5% of the variance in WB scores, respectively.Conclusions:The novel finding of the present study is that TF was associated with low levels of burnout. Additionally, WB was found to be linked to anxiety and depression which is in line with previous research. These data suggest that TF could be a potential resolution to the deleterious influence of burnout. Further exploration is needed in order to understand the psychology of forgiveness as a potential adjuvant and/or therapeutic intervention for physicians' burnout. These results suggest that strategies including forgiveness training aimed at decreasing WB while increasing job satisfaction among physicians warrant further exploration.