Psychological flexibility and professional quality of life among medical practitioners in a tertiary care hospital in South India: An observational study

This study is a cross-sectional, hospital-based observational study conducted from July 2019 to March 2020 at Kasturba Hospital of Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, a tertiary care centre in Udupi district of Karnataka state in India. The sample consisted of medical practitioners working in various clinical branches of medicine of Kasturba Hospital, Manipal, with a minimum of one year of experience. Convenience sampling was used. Written informed consent was obtained from all participants. The sample size was calculated using the formula for statistically significant correlation coefficient and it was calculated as185. Participants’ age, gender and work experience details were documented in a proforma. Psychological flexibility was measured using Acceptance and action questionnaire-II (AAQ-II; Bond et al, 2011). Professional Quality of Life Scale Version 5 (ProQol 5; Stamm, 2010) was used to measure compassion satisfaction (CS), burnout (BO) and secondary traumatic stress (STS) among participants. The collected data was analyzed using IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) statistics for Windows, Version 25 (IBM Corp, Armonk, NY, USA). Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data. Mean and standard deviation (SD) were used for continuous data. Group differences across gender for continuous variables were examined using an independent t-test and P values less than 0.05 were considered significant. To establish the relationship between the variables Pearson’s’ correlation test was used. The research hypothesis stated was that there would be no relationship between psychological flexibility and 1) compassion satisfaction, 2) burnout and 3) secondary traumatic stress among medical practitioners. Out of the 185 that could complete the study, it included 70 females and 115 males. Mean age of the sample was 37.31 years. In terms of years of work experience, 149 doctors had less than 20 years of experience and 36 had more than 20 years of experience. Mean scores of acceptance and action questionnaire-II and professional quality of life scale version 5 were analysed. Compassion Satisfaction had a mean score of 35.89, Burnout has a mean score of 24.97, Secondary Traumatic Stress had a mean score of 20.43 and Psychological Inflexibility had a mean score of 15.69. The result of Pearson’s correlation showed the relationship between compassion satisfaction and psychological inflexibility was not significantly correlated. The relationship between burnout and psychological inflexibility is significantly and strongly positively correlated. The relationship between secondary traumatic stress and psychological inflexibility is significantly and strongly positively correlated. Using a t-test, it was shown that compassion satisfaction was relatively higher for females and burnout was relatively higher in males.

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