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Title: Study burnout, academic engagement, mindfulness and self-compassion in health and social care students : a cross-sectional study design
Author: Atanes, Ana Cristina
ISNI:       0000 0004 9347 2292
Awarding Body: Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2020
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Introduction Burnout (high exhaustion, high cynicism) increases throughout professional training, predicting later burnout at work. Dispositional mindfulness, self-compassion and academic engagement may mitigate these effects. Aims Explore the impact of different courses and academic year on these variables. Material and Methods Cross-sectional study conducted on undergraduate first year, final year or postgraduate allied/nursing and social-work students. Measures: Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Survey;Utrecht Work Engagement Scale for Students; Self-Compassion Scale and Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale-Revised. Analyses: Demographics used for sampling characterization; descriptive reported by means, standard deviation and quartile results (lower for engagement and upper for exhaustion and cynicism to identify groups reporting lower study-work well-being); Pearson’s correlations and multivariate analysis of variance. Findings 198 students, mostly female (allied/nursing = 87%, social-work = 90.4%),18 to 32 years old (allied/nursing = 72.2%, social-work = 63.9%), never practiced yoga or meditation (allied/nursing = 83.2%, social-work = 85.2%). All measures indicated reliability, including the Maslach Burnout Inventory – Student Survey and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale for Students - Short Version, which were further investigated through confirmatory factor analysis. Pearson’s correlations revealed positive associations between mindfulness, self-compassion and academic engagement and negative between these variables and burnout. Descriptive results indicated lower study/work well-being (particularly in students attending final undergraduate year (32.2%, 24.1%), with higher incidence in social-work (24.1%, 21.6%) than nursing students (19.1%, 12.1%). Multivariate analysis of variance howeve , indicated burnout not significantly varying in social-work students across different academic years, but postgraduates reporting significantly higher exhaustion compared to died/nursing in this academic stage (p < .001). Allied/nursing students in their last undergraduate year were more exhausted and cynical than first-year and postgraduates (p < .05).No significant variance found in dispositional mindfulness and self-compassion across different courses and academic year. Discussion The study indicates an interaction effect between course and academic stage to influence the high levels of burnout found in allied/nursing and social work students. Thus, both categories must be supported during training but institutions may choose to allocate resources depending on group needs. Implementing mindfulness and self-compassion skills in health and social care curricula may increase student awareness of personal suffering and the need to self-care. This may prevent professional burnout and promote compassionate care, although this hypothesis should be tested by future studies. Conclusion The study indicates high levels of exhaustion in social work students throughout the degree and high exhaustion and cynicism in allied/nursing specially at the final undergraduate stage. If adopting an inter-professional approach for teaching burnout prevention skills to both categories, resources could be prioritised to final year undergraduates.
Supervisor: Huxley, Peter Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: burnout ; mindfulness ; self-compassion ; health and social care ; students