The relationship between social capital in hospitals and emotional exhaustion in clinicians: a study in four German hospitals.

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The relationship between social capital in hospitals and emotional exhaustion in clinicians: a study in four German hospitals.

Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2011 Nov;57(6):604-9

Authors: Driller E, Ommen O, Kowalski C, Ernstmann N, Pfaff H

Abstract
BACKGROUND: About 30% of doctors working in inpatient and outpatient departments suffer from burnout, characterized, for example, by emotional exhaustion. The prevention of burnout constitutes a great challenge for those responsible for the healthcare system.
AIMS: Research into the relationship between social capital in hospitals and the occurrence of emotional exhaustion in clinicians is still at an early stage. The aim of the current study is to examine the effects of social capital in the workplace on the emotional exhaustion of clinicians.
METHOD: A questionnaire was posted to 2,644 employees working in four German hospitals, and 1,645 responded. Responses from the 277 clinicians (61%) are analyzed here. The questionnaire looked at symptoms of emotional exhaustion and levels of organizational social capital.
RESULTS: Logistic regression identified two significant predictors of emotional exhaustion in clinicians: low self-efficacy and subjectively perceived lower levels of social capital in the hospitals where they worked. The model accounted for 26 % of Nagelkerke's R(2).
CONCLUSION: Efforts to create a good working atmosphere, with the readiness to provide mutual support and the pursuit of joint values and objectives within a hospital, may reduce the development of, or even prevent, emotional exhaustion in clinicians.

PMID: 20663798 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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