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LETTER
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 271-272

Prevalence of burnout and its correlates among residents in a tertiary medical center in Kerala, India: A cross-sectional study


Department of Paediatrics, Al-Kindy College of Medicine, Baghdad University, Baghdad, Iraq

Date of Web Publication20-Oct-2016

Correspondence Address:
M D Al-Mendalawi
Department of Paediatrics, Al-Kindy College of Medicine, Baghdad University, Baghdad
Iraq
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.192665

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How to cite this article:
Al-Mendalawi M D. Prevalence of burnout and its correlates among residents in a tertiary medical center in Kerala, India: A cross-sectional study. J Postgrad Med 2016;62:271-2

How to cite this URL:
Al-Mendalawi M D. Prevalence of burnout and its correlates among residents in a tertiary medical center in Kerala, India: A cross-sectional study. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Aug 25];62:271-2. Available from: http://www.jpgmonline.com/text.asp?2016/62/4/271/192665


I have three comments on the outstanding study by Ratnakaran et al. on the prevalence of burnout (BO) and its correlates among residents in a tertiary medical center in Kerala, India.[1]

First, the term BO, mentioned in 1974 for the first time in the scientific literature, has been linked for many decades to emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced performance ability and/or motivation. The concept of BO is recently reread through the lens of positive psychology. A common view is seemingly emerging that characterizes BO as a condition of alienation, loss of motivation, and low autonomy resulting from an unbridgeable gap in the personal and/or organizational resources that one has to invest in building a stimulating and rewarding professional career, full of significant relationships that give meaningfulness to one's life project.[2] Establishing the clinical criteria for BO considering this new concept could better facilitate the identification and estimation of its prevalence.

Second, the authors employed Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI), constructed in 2005, to determine the prevalence of BO and its correlates in the studied cohort. Two limitations exist considering the employment of CBI that might render the study results questionable. (1) BO appears to share numerous overlapping characteristics with major depressive episodes. The current state of the art suggests that the distinction between BO and depression is conceptually fragile. It is notably unclear how the state of BO (i.e., the end stage of the BO process) is conceived to differ from clinical depression. Empirically, evidence for the distinctiveness of the BO phenomenon has been inconsistent, with the most recent studies casting doubt on that distinctiveness.[3] The absence of consensual diagnostic criteria for BO and BO research's insufficient consideration of the heterogeneity of depressive disorders constitutes major obstacles to the resolution of the raised issue.[3] (2) Reviewing the literature showed that most of the available studies on BO epidemiology and differential diagnosis have provided no more than a low level of evidence as self-assessment tools were mainly used. Moreover, they have obviously shown that so far no standardized, general, and internationally valid procedure exists to precisely obtain a BO diagnosis.[4],[5] Till constructing a newly precise BO assessment tool, the currently employed CBI assessment tool in the clinical settings remains worthy. However, an Indian version of the CBI tool ought to be constructed.

Third, despite the above mentioned two points as well many limitations addressed by the authors in their study, the reported prevalence of BO in more than one-third of studied residents is worrisome. Therefore, immediate corrective actions are needed to prevent and ameliorate BO among residents at the hospital.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
 :: References Top

1.
Ratnakaran B, Prabhakaran A, Karunakaran V. Prevalence of burnout and its correlates among residents in a tertiary medical center in Kerala, India: A cross-sectional study. J Postgrad Med 2016;62:157-61.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
2.
Camerino D, Cassitto MG, Gugiari MC, Conway PM. Burnout: Survey of the literature. Med Lav 2013;104:411-27.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]    
3.
Bianchi R, Schonfeld IS, Laurent E. Burnout-depression overlap: A review. Clin Psychol Rev 2015;36:28-41.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]    
4.
Kaschka WP, Korczak D, Broich K. Burnout: A fashionable diagnosis. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2011;108:781-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]    
5.
Korczak D, Huber B. Burnout. Can it be measured? Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz 2012;55:164-71.  Back to cited text no. 5
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2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
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