Psychosocial training as a method to prevention burnout in the helping professions

Zuzana Škodová, Ivana Paceková

Abstract

Helping professions are at a higher risk of burnout which has a negative impact not only on their professional performance but also on the overall quality of their life. In this research study we examined the effect of psychosocial training on the level of the burnout syndrome and the levels of personality factors that are supposed to have a protective function with regard to burnout (self-esteem, sense of coherence) in students of helping professions.

A quasi-experimental pre-test post-test design was used in this study. A total of 111 university students divided into an experimental and a control group were included in the research (age 20.7, ±2.8; 86.1 % females). The experimental group participated in a six-month psychosocial training program. Standardized questionnaires were used as measuring instruments, SBI (School Burnout Inventory) to assess the level of burnout, SOC questionnaire (Sense of Coherence) for measuring the sense of integrity and Rosenberg self-esteem scale. Linear regression and analysis of variance were applied to the statistical analysis of data.

The results show that psychosocial training had a positive impact on the level of burnout, as well as on personality predictors of burnout. After completing the training, the level of burnout in the experimental group decreased significantly (95 % confidence interval: 0.93, 9.25), while in the control group no significant change was observed. On the other hand, sense of coherence in the research group has increased (95 % confidence interval: –9.11, 2.64). No significant changes were found in the self-esteem levels in either group.

Psychosocial training proved to be an effective supportive method positively influencing burnout in students of helping professions. Since coping strategies used during the study tend to be associated significantly with the strategies applied later in professional practice, this method can be considered to be an effective supportive tool in the prevention of burnout in helping professions.

(Fulltext in Slovak)

Keywords

burnout syndrome, self-esteem, sense of coherence, students of helping professions, psychosocial training, professional development

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