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Open Access Highly Accessed Study protocol

Effectiveness of an intervention for prevention and treatment of burnout in primary health care professionals

Tomás Gómez-Gascón1*, Jesús Martín-Fernández2, Macarena Gálvez-Herrer3, Ester Tapias-Merino4, Milagros Beamud-Lagos5, José Carlos Mingote-Adán3 and Grupo EDESPROAP-Madrid

Author Affiliations

1 Guayaba Health Center, Primary Care, Madrid Health Service, Madrid, Spain

2 Villamanta Health Center, Primary Care, Madrid Health Service, Madrid, Spain

3 PAIPSE (Programa de Atención Integral al Profesional Sanitario Enfermo), Madrid Health Service, Madrid, Spain

4 Comillas Health Center, Primary Care, Madrid Health Service, Madrid, Spain

5 El Greco Health Center, Primary Care, Madrid Health Service, Madrid, Spain

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BMC Family Practice 2013, 14:173  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-14-173

Published: 17 November 2013

Abstract

Background

Burnout syndrome is an important health problem that affects many professionals and must be addressed globally, with both organizational measures and personal interventions. Burnout of health professionals can be prevented in order to avoid personal, familial, and social consequences, as well as repercussions for patients.

Methods/design

This work describes a protocol for a controlled, pragmatic, randomized clinical trial in 2 parallel groups: intervention and control. All health professionals from 7 health care centers will form the intervention group, and all health professionals from 7 different health care centers will form the control group. The intervention group will receive 16 hours of training at their work place. The Maslach's burnout inventory, the Cuestionario de Desgaste Profesional Médico or the Cuestionario de Desgaste Profesional de Enfermería, and the 28-item Goldberg's General Health Questionnaire, validated for our setting, will be used as measurement tools. Change in the average scores from the Maslach's burnout inventory emotional exhaustion scale will be compared between the intervention and control groups, measured as intention-to-treat, and the intervention will be considered effective if a minimum decrease of 20% is achieved.

Discussion

Due to the deleterious consequences of burnout syndrome for people suffering from it and for the organization where they work, it is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of certain interventions for its prevention. Organizational measures are important for preventing burnout syndrome, but so is providing professionals with coping strategies, as this group intervention intends to do.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on June 10, 2013. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01870154.