Humor styles and psychosocial working conditions in relation to occupational burnout among doctors
Medical professionals are an occupational group at a particularly high risk for job burnout. The aim of the study was to determine relationships between humor styles and psychosocial working conditions on the one hand and occupational burnout in the medical profession on the other. Participants in the study were 82 professionally active doctors, interviewed and examined using questionnaire methods: the Maslach Burnout Inventory, Humor Styles Questionnaire, and the Psychosocial Working Conditions instrument. The results show that occupational burnout is a serious problem among medical doctors, even those with a short work history. Difficult psychosocial working conditions enhance the occupational burnout symptoms. Moreover, higher severity of burnout symptoms correlates with lower support from superiors and with less frequent utilization of adaptive humor styles: self-enhancing and affiliative. Therefore, it is worthwhile to develop programs of burnout prevention for medical professionals, with an emphasis on social skills training, and to enlarge such resources as support at workplace and humor utilization skills.