The burnout syndrome of forensic pathologists. The influences of personality traits, job satisfaction and environmental factors
M. Iorga, C. Soponaru, B. Hanganu, B. G. Ioan
Abstract: Aim. To identify the burnout syndrome among forensic physicians and its relationship with personality traits,
job satisfaction and environmental factors.
Material and methods. A number of 37 forensic physicians participated in the research. Three questionnaires were
applied. Burnout was measured by using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). Personality traits were measured using the Big
Five Inventory (BFI). The Job Satisfaction Scale (JSS) explained 4 factors related to job satisfaction: payment and promotions,
management and interpersonal relationships, organization and communication and overall job satisfaction. In addition sociodemographic
data and information about the presence of insomnia or depression and the use of pills were also recorded. Data
analysis was done using SPSS Statistics v23.0.0 for MAC.OSX.
Results. The participants (45.95% men and 54.05% women) declared that they had faced critical events (59.46%) in the last
5 years and that the job duties which most disturbed them were related to examination of children (75.7%). The coping strategies
they adopt are: listening to music (13.51%), spending time with family members (21.62%), walking (10.81%), fishing (2.70%),
physical activity (5.41%), reading books (5.41%), cooking (2.70%), and watching TV (2.70%). 13.5% of the participants use pills
to cope with stressful events and 1/3 are diagnosed with chronic diseases. Low score for emotional exhaustion and medium scores
for the other 2 subdomains of burnout were recorded. Almost a third of the surveyed physicians requested professional help from
psychologists or psychiatrists and experienced forms of emotional abuse from their patients (35.1%).
Conclusions. Our results are important because they point out the difficulties and stress related to the forensic profession,
their impact on the forensic physicians’ personal life and the strategies adopted by the participants to cope with them. Our
research also revealed important elements that could be included in interventions designed to prevent or reduce the incidence of
the burnout syndrome in forensic medicine. Keywords: forensic physicians, burnout syndrome, personality traits, job satisfaction environmental factors.