Primary school teachers in Québec suffer psychological distress, as shown by the Québec Health Survey (M. Gervais, 1993; Santè Québec, 1995). The authors applied and extended the French model (F. Guérin, A. Laville, F. Daniellou, J. Duraffourg, & A. Kerguelen, 1991) of analysis of work activity to observing classroom teaching (14 women in 10 classrooms for a total of 48 hr 24 min) to identify stressful elements. The authors observed a rapid sequence of actions, eye fixations of short duration, little physical or mental relaxation, multiple simultaneous activities, and uncomfortable temperature and humidity levels. Teachers use many strategies to teach, to create a learning environment, and to maintain attention in classrooms under adverse conditions. Examination of these strategies led to recommendations to improve relations between the teachers and their supervisors and to make the classroom an easier place to teach.
Peacekeepers are frequently exposed to dangerous, provoking, or humiliating situations and have limited possibilities to express the resulting anger and frustrations. Self-medication with alcohol and drugs to calm down may result. A representative sample (N = 888) of Norwegian United Nations veterans who served in South Lebanon completed a questionnaire regarding service-related stress and the role of alcohol in stress management. A total of 43.5% of the respondents reported that they had increased their consumption of alcohol during the mission. Overall, only a minority gave reasons such as tension, restlessness, anxiety, and stress to explain the increase. Respondents who had been exposed to the highest levels of stress, however, reported significantly more frequently these potentially pathological reasons for increased drinking. To prevent such outcomes, personnel need to be screened for risk reactions and to be educated in alternative stress management measures. Furthermore, management of both stress and the destructive use of alcohol is clearly a leadership issue.
Compassion fatigue (CF) is "debilitating weariness brought about by repetitive, empathic responses to the pain and suffering of others" (LaRowe, 2005, p. 21). The work performed by oncology nurses, and the experiences of the people they care for, place oncology nurses at high risk for CF (Pierce et al., 2007; Ferrell & Coyle, 2008). Thus oncology nurses were chosen as the study focus. This paper details a descriptive exploratory qualitative research study that investigated the experience of CF in Canadian clinical oncology registered nurses (RNs). A conceptual stress process model by Aneshensel, Pearlin, Mullan, Zarit, and Whitlatch (1995) that considers caregivers' stress in four domains provided the study framework (see Figure 1). Nineteen study participants were recruited through an advertisement in the Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal (CONJ). The advertisement directed potential participants to a university-based online website developed for this study. Participants completed a questionnaire and wrote a narrative describing an experience with CF and submitted these through the secure research website. Data were analyzed thematically. Five themes include: defining CF, causes of CF, factors that worsen CF, factors that lessen CF, and outcomes of CF. Participants had limited knowledge about CF, about lack of external support, and that insufficient time to provide high quality, care may precipitate CF. The gap between quality of care nurses wanted to provide and what they were able to do, compounded by coexisting physical and emotional stress, worsened CF. CF was lessened by colleague support, work-life balance, connecting with others, acknowledgement, and maturity and experience. Outcomes of CF included profound fatigue of mind and body, negative effects on personal relationships, and considering leaving the specialty. Recommendations that may enhance oncology nurse well-being are provided.
PURPOSE: General practitioners (GPs) occupy a central position in health care and often have demanding working situations. This corps shows signs of exhaustion, and many consider quitting their job or plan to retire early. It is therefore urgent to find ways of improving GP's satisfaction with their work. One approach might be Balint group participation. The aim of this study was to explore GPs' experience of participating in Balint groups and its influence on their work life. METHODS: We conducted a descriptive, qualitative study. Nine GPs who had participated in Balint groups for 3 to 15 years were interviewed. A phenomenologic analysis was carried out to describe the phenomenon of Balint group participation. RESULTS: The GPs perceived that their Balint group participation influenced their work life. Analyses revealed several interrelating themes: competence, professional identity, and a sense of security, which increased through parallel processes, creating a base of endurance and satisfaction, thus enabling the GPs to rediscover the joy of being a physician. CONCLUSIONS: The GPs in this study described their Balint group participation as beneficial and essential to their work life as physicians in several ways. It seemed to increase their competence in patient encounters and enabled them to endure in their job and find joy and challenge in their relationships with patients. Balint groups might thus help GPs handle a demanding work life and prevent burnout. These groups might not suit all GPs, however, and additional ways to reduce stress and increase job satisfaction should be offered.
Being closely connected to a person experiencing illness may be a trying experience.This study aimed to illuminate meanings of being closely connected to health care providers experiencing burnout. Ten interviews were conducted with five people closely connected (i.e., family members or supportive friends) to health care providers recovering from burnout. The interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim, and the resulting text was interpreted using a phenomenological-hermeneutic method. One consequence of being closely connected to health care providers experiencing burnout is putting one's life on hold to help. In facing an almost unmanageable burden, those closely connected revealed their own suffering, emphasizing their need for support. Health care professionals need to be aware that those who are closely connected to a person experiencing burnout may lack knowledge about burnout and its related challenges. It is to be hoped such knowledge would allow significant others to better support the person experiencing burnout and promote their own health.
To explore the dimensions of family physician resilience.
Qualitative study using in-depth interviews with family physician peers.
Purposive sample of 17 family physicians.
An iterative process of face-to-face, in-depth interviews that were audiotaped and transcribed. The research team independently reviewed each interview for emergent themes with consensus reached through discussion and comparison. Themes were grouped into conceptual categories.
Four main aspects of physician resilience were identified: 1) attitudes and perspectives, which include valuing the physician role, maintaining interest, developing self-awareness, and accepting personal limitations; 2) balance and prioritization, which include setting limits, taking effective approaches to continuing professional development, and honouring the self;3) practice management style, which includes sound business management, having good staff, and using effective practice arrangements; and 4) supportive relations, which include positive personal relationships, effective professional relationships, and good communication.
Resilience is a dynamic, evolving process of positive attitudes and effective strategies.
Cites: JAMA. 2003 Jun 18;289(23):3161-612813122
Cites: Ann Intern Med. 2001 Jul 17;135(2):145-811453722
Cites: Eur J Public Health. 2003 Dec;13(4):299-30514703315
Cites: JAMA. 2004 Feb 4;291(5):63314762045
Cites: Fam Med. 2004 Feb;36(2):108-1314872357
Cites: Fam Pract. 2004 Oct;21(5):545-5115367477
Cites: Med J Aust. 2004 Oct 4;181(7):392-415462664
Cites: N Z Med J. 2004 Oct 22;117(1204):U112315505669
Cites: Aust Fam Physician. 1988 Jan;17(1):18-93345163
The Mental Health Department of the Canadian Forces Support Unit (Ottawa) developed the Care for the Caregivers program to help participants deal with stressful events experienced directly or vicariously from the NATO and United Nations military missions of the 1990s. The program was developed after complaints of postdeployment stress were received from various military care providers. The objectives were to improve the skills of support personnel and to reduce the distress that some caregivers experienced. Thirty-one chaplains who had been exposed to stressful military operations participated in five workshops. These educational 4-day small-group workshops covered topics such as post-traumatic stress disorder, vicarious traumatization, coping techniques, spirituality, self-care, and family issues. An adult education model was chosen to encourage dialogue. Outcomes included reports of professional and personal benefits, requests for additional programs, local education initiatives, and referrals to mental health professionals. Having met its objectives, the program has become a normal concluding part of stressful deployments.
OBJECTIVE: In a longitudinal study design to analyze the development of burnout at worksites and to study the effect of interventions intended to reduce the level of burnout at individual level. METHODS: At baseline the study, sample consisted of 1024 individuals divided at six organizations and 18 worksites in the human service sector. Four different types of interventions were identified: external and internal reorganizations, educational days, and consultancy. Burnout defined as work related, client related, and personal burnout was measured by means of the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory at baseline and at first and second follow-up during the years 1999 to 2005. RESULTS: We found a weak but statistically significant negative effect of reorganizations after adjusting for potential confounders and mediators defined as changes in the psychosocial working conditions. CONCLUSION: The four types of interventions did not reduce the level of burnout in our study.