alexa Burnout in Portuguese Medical Students: Coping Strategies as a Mediating Variable
ISSN: 2161-0711

Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education
Open Access

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Research Article

Burnout in Portuguese Medical Students: Coping Strategies as a Mediating Variable

Henrique Pereira*, Mariana Fernandes, Vítor Costa, Lucia Amorim, Francesco La-Rizza and Rui Hermenegildo

Department of Psychology and Education, University of Beira Interior, Portugal & Psychology & Health Research Unit, ISPA-IU, Portugal

*Corresponding Author:
Henrique Pereira
Department of Psychology and Education
University of Beira Interior
Portugal & Psychology & Health Research Unit, ISPAIU, Portugal
Tel: 275 329 16
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: June 29, 2014; Accepted date: September 03, 2014; Published date: September 08, 2014

Citation: Pereira H, Fernandes M, Costa V, Amorim L, La-Rizza F, et al. (2014) Burnout in Portuguese Medical Students: Coping Strategies as a Mediating Variable. J Community Med Health Educ 4:306. doi:10.4172/2161-0711.1000306

Copyright: © 2014 Pereira H, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: Recently there have been several studies on the relation between coping strategies and the Burnout outcomes, in medical students. However, there is a lack of Portuguese studies in this area. The objectives of our study were to describe the levels of burnout in a sample of Portuguese medical students, and understand their relation with different study methods and coping strategies Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried-out among a convenience sample of 658 medical students. The data collection was done using a socio-demographic questionnaire, the Maslach Burnout Inventory - Students Survey, and the Ways of Coping Questionnaire. Results: Regarding burnout, gender differences were found in the dimensions of ‘emotional exhaustion’ (t=-3.07, p<0.00) and ‘professional efficacy’ (t=2.08, p<0.04). The burnout syndrome was prevalent in students that have ‘difficulty in achieving goals’, or with a ‘significant problem’. High levels of burnout were associated to escapeavoidance coping, and were more common in the female sample. Low levels of burnout were related to ‘plan resolution strategies’, ‘positive reappraisal’ and ‘seeking for social support’. Conclusions: Higher levels of burnout were reported by students with inadequate coping strategies. These results highlight the importance of developing programs to promote psychological well-being through the use of adequate coping strategies and resilient responses to academic and psychological stressors.

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