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The role of personal resources in explaining burnout and engagement in psychologists: a job demands-resources approach

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posted on 2018-11-07, 12:12 authored by Sameen Malik
Systematic Literature Review: The loss of a patient to suicide is an occupational hazard for clinicians. This critical interpretive meta-synthesis provides a conceptual overview of the ways medical and nursing professionals can experience patient suicide. A systematic search of electronic databases identified seven papers. Constructs elicited via reciprocal translation analysis comprised four inter-related themes: (1) Intrinsic but taboo: patient suicide perceived as inevitable yet difficult to talk about. (2) Significant emotional impact: clinicians deeply affected, with resilience important for mitigating impact. (3) Failure and accountability: intense self-scrutiny, guilt and shame with differing attributions of blame across professional cultures. (4) Legacy of patient suicide: opportunities for growth but a lack of formal postvention guidance. Further research is directed at evaluating postvention procedures to inform effective guidance and support for clinicians after patient suicide. Research Project: Diminished resources and increasing demands in the NHS have contributed to heightened workplace distress among UK psychologists. Consequently, interest in personal resources (i.e. resiliency) has grown. Using the Job Demands-Resources model, this study explored the role of psychologists’ personal resources in explaining burnout and work engagement through their interactions with various job characteristics. Using validated measures, cross-sectional data from 422 psychologists assessed three job demands (workload, psychological demands, work-self conflict); three job resources (autonomy, colleague support, work feedback); three personal resources (self-efficacy, proactive behaviour, reflective behaviour); burnout; and work engagement. Hierarchical multiple regressions with moderation analyses revealed that: (1) job demands and job resources were the most important predictors of burnout and engagement, respectively. (2) Overall, personal resources did not interact with these relationships. Employers are directed to balance job demands and job resources to reduce burnout and enhance work engagement, rather than overstate the benefits of personal resources alone. Critical Appraisal: A reflective account of the author’s research journey throughout this thesis is provided.



Robertson, Noelle; Welham, Alice

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Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

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University of Leicester

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