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Burnout syndrome and associated socio-demographic factors in medical students; a cross-sectional study
* 1 , 2
1  Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
2  Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Medial Sciences, University of Kragujevac, Kragujevac, Serbia
Academic Editor: Michele Roccella


Objectives: The study was conducted to determine the demographic factors associated with burnout syndrome among medical students at the Faculty of Medical Sciences in Kragujevac (University of Kragujevac, Serbia).

Materials and methods: A cross-sectional, analytical study was conducted in 2014, using the Maslach Burnout Inventory Student Survey and epidemiological questionnaire on basic socio-demographic characteristics (age, sex, completed secondary school, marital status, housing, study financing, etc). The study included 760 of 836 medical students from first to sixth year of studies who met the criteria for participation (response rate was 90.9%). Burnout syndrome was defined as a triad of symptoms: emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and academic inefficiency. Statistical evaluation was performed through Chi-square and t-test.

Results: Mean scores for the triad of burnout symptoms were: Emotional Exhaustion (12.8 ± 7.2; rank 0-30), Cynicism (3.6 ± 4.9; rank 0-24), and reverse Academic Efficacy (9.1 ± 8.3; rank 0-36). Gender was significantly associated with less cynicism, with fewer women showing a high level of cynicism compared to men (31.6% vs. 41.3%; P = 0.007). Age was significantly associated with all dimensions of burnout: while cynicism and academic inefficiency increased with age (P = 0.000), emotional exhaustion decreased significantly with age (P = 0.000). The self-financing way of studying was significantly associated with greater cynicism and academic inefficiency (P <0.05).

Conclusion: Our research confirmed the association of socio-demographic characteristics and the level of burnout syndrome in medical students.

Keywords: Burnout syndrome; medical students; cross-sectional study