Research

Burnout among obstetrics and gynaecology registrars in teaching hospitals of the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School

G M Balie, S J Branch, H A du Toit Lombaard

Abstract


Background. There is an upward trend in burnout among all professions, including healthcare workers. Few causative factors have been identified and few interventions are available to decrease risk. At present, there are no data on burnout among obstetricians and gynaecologists in South Africa.

Objectives. To determine the prevalence of burnout among registrars in the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology the University of the Witwatersrand and identify risk factors for burnout in this setting.

Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted, using a convenience sample of registrars at the University of the Witwatersrand Obstetrics and Gynaecology circuit between September and October 2017. Electronic surveys were sent to 61 registrars in the circuit at that time. The Maslach Burnout Inventory was used to evaluate burnout for each of the three burnout subgroups both separately and cumulatively.

Results. Of the responding participants, 78% were women. All four years of training were represented with ~23% of respondents in each year of study. Only 6% showed burnout in all three subgroups. There were high levels both of emotional exhaustion (85%) and depersonalisation (78.7%). Significant predictors of emotional exhaustion included female gender and number of years as a medical officer before becoming a registrar.

Conclusion. Burnout, particularly among women, is significantly high among registrars in the O&G department at University of the Witwatersrand. Increased awareness and support for those affected is vital to improve registrar functioning and resultant patient care.


Authors' affiliations

G M Balie, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

S J Branch, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

H A du Toit Lombaard, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Keywords

Burnout; Registrars;

Cite this article

South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2019;25(3):75-78. DOI:10.7196/sajog.1490

Article History

Date submitted: 2019-09-17
Date published: 2020-04-24

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