Revista Colombiana de Cirugía
Print version ISSN 2011-7582
VEGA, Neil Valentín et al. Professional burnout syndrome in Colombian surgeons. rev. colomb. cir. [online]. 2009, vol.24, n.3, pp. 153-164. ISSN 2011-7582.
Introduction. The professional burnout syndrome is a well defined clinical entity that has attracted increasing volumes of research throughout the world, a direct consequence of chronic personal stress that appears in professionals that provide intensive and prolonged care to persons in conditions of necessity or dependence. The purpose of the study was to determine the prevalence of the syndrome in Colombian general surgeons and to evaluate associated factors. Materials and methods. By means of an observational and analytical cross sectional study we measured the investigated the syndrome in 259 Colombian general surgeons that attended the XXXIV National Congress of Surgery in August, 2008. Results. The incidence of the syndrome, defined as a high degree of emotional fatigue associated with profound depersonalization and reduced index of personal accomplishment, was 20%. The only associated factor with the development of the syndrome was the desire to change the working place (OR=2.95, IC95% 1.59-5.5). There appeared also an association with the occurrence of biological accidents within the past six months (OR=2.01, IC95% 1.08-3.74). The impact of this entity on the professional activity was documented by the finding that 66% of surgeons were at risk of developing the syndrome if there were to work at a single site. Discussion. The present study is an objective evaluation of the perceptions by the general surgeons of Colombia regarding their labor activity. We found unexpected results in respect to the perception in the surgical environment. The study represents a major effort by the participating institutions towards the search of factors that may have positive or negative influence on the labor working conditions of the surgeons in our country, which should aid in a better comprehension of the problems inherent to the current General System of Social Security in Health.
Keywords : burnout; professional; stress; surgery; Colombia.