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Emotional burnout and professional stress among social field workers during crisis events: pandemic and military conflict

ISSN 2223-6775 Ukrainian journal of occupational health Vol.19, No 3, 2023

Emotional burnout and professional stress among social field workers during crisis events: pandemic and military conflict

Litovchenko O.1, Kapustnyk V.1, Zavgorodnii I.1, Merkulova T.1, Lysak M.1, Perova I.2, Boeckelmann I.3
1 Kharkiv National Medical University, Kharkiv, Ukraine Kharkiv
2 Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics, Kharkiv, Ukraine
3 Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany

Full article (PDF): ENG / UKR

Introduction. Nowadays, the issue of psychological well-being of social workers has become extremely relevant. Preservation of the psychological health of workers in social professions (medical, preschool teachers and teachers of higher education institutions) is of important international and state importance in the period of modern challenges: the COVID-19 pandemic, martial law and social transformations. This aroused interest in deepening the study of factors that affect the psychological state of employees under the influence of professional stressors. In this context, it became important to involve new approaches in determining the development of professional burnout and diagnosing professional risks.

Objective. This study aims to investigate with the help of a medical and psychological survey the psycho-emotional state of employees of health care institutions, teachers of higher education institutions and preschool teachers who are under the influence of excessive psychological factors and a high degree of tension in the labor process

Materials and methods. An anonymous medical and psychological survey of health care workers, preschool teachers and teachers of a higher education institution in Kharkiv was conducted. The questionnaire "Maslach Burnout Inventory" (MBI-GS) and the classification according to R. Kalimo et al. were used to assess emotional burnout. The assessment of neuropsychological tension (NPN) of teachers of higher education institutions was carried out according to the method of Nemchyn T.A. (1983). The data were analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics Standard Campus Edition 26.0 (5725-A54) and machine learning methods, including algorithms from the sklearn library in combination with eli5 in the Python 3.9 environment.

Results. The level of professional burnout among medical workers depended on their specialization. Oncologists showed a lower risk of emotional exhaustion (21.6%) and cynicism (24.3%). The highest degree of emotional exhaustion (37.5%), labor efficiency – more than 76% was found among emergency medical care workers. Doctors of the resuscitation profile had the highest degree of cynicism (39.7%) and reduction of personal achievements (49.3%). Sex-dependent features among the studied groups were established and informative criteria for the occurrence of professional burnout for various medical professions were determined. Among educators, it was found that a quarter of respondents have a high level of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. At the same time, only 3% of educators are at risk of burnout. Almost 90% of teachers were in the range of detensive neuropsychological stress, but had signs of fatigue from being professionally active during the academic year: 79% needed rest, 36.8% felt exhausted.

Conclusions. The syndrome of "professional burnout" is a widespread phenomenon among professions where interaction between people is important. This problem is especially relevant for medical institutions, preschool institutions and higher education institutions in Ukraine. To solve this task, it is important to develop innovative methods of early detection of precursors of the syndrome and to define a set of preventive measures to prevent its development. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the specifics of each profession, since their features have a direct impact on the mechanisms of the emergence and manifestation of this phenomenon.

Keywords: professional burnout, professional stress, doctors, educators, teachers of higher education institutions.


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