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Burnout and Coping Methods among Emergency Medical Services Professionals

Authors ALmutairi MN, El.Mahalli AA

Received 12 January 2020

Accepted for publication 4 March 2020

Published 16 March 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 271—279


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Mohammed Nasser ALmutairi,1 Azza Ali El.Mahalli2

1Saudi Red Crescent, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Public Health, College of Public Health, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Azza Ali El.Mahalli PO Box 1982, Dammam 31441 Tel +966 54  262  2475
Email [email protected]

Purpose: To determine levels of burnout among emergency medical services (EMS) professionals and the coping strategies they use to alleviate burnout and measure the association between burnout vs sociodemographic and work-related characteristics and coping strategies of EMS professionals.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey study conducted among 270 active-duty EMS professionals. The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) — Health Services Survey was used to assess burnout. There are three scales of burnout: depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, and personal achievement. Coping Methods Checklist (CMC) was used to assess coping strategies. Univariate descriptive statistics were used to explore sociodemographic characteristics of participants, level of burnout, and coping strategies. Primary bivariate analyses were used to determine variables significantly correlated with each of the three MBI scores. Multiple linear regression models were used to explore correlation between variables measured in the survey with each of the three MBI scales (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment).
Results: EMS professionals perceived high levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and low levels of personal achievement. The most frequently used coping strategies were talking with colleagues (87.4%), looking forward to being off duty (82.6%), and thinking about the positive benefits of work (81.1%). CMC7 (thinking about the positive benefits of work) contributed most to variations in emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal achievement. Saudis had lower emotional exhaustion and depersonalization.
Conclusion: This study might provide evidence to formulate comprehensive training on how EMS workers can cope with burnout.

Keywords: burnout, coping strategies, Saudi Arabia

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