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Health Education and Promotion


Linnaya Graf


Burnout among psychiatrists in the United States is prevalent; however, scholarly literature lacks studies exploring why psychiatrists are burnt out, what resources mitigate burnout, and the health implications of burnout, which is needed to improve health education programs for psychiatrists. Understanding the reasons for psychiatrist burnout, the resources that can mitigate burnout, and the health implications of burnout provided the purpose for this dissertation and foundation for the four research questions. The multidimensional theory of burnout, job demands-resource model, and the conservation of resources theory grounded the study. A qualitative, exploratory, multiple case study was conducted using data gathered from 14 participants. Surveys and semistructured interviews were thematically analyzed. Results indicated that the burnout process for psychiatrists occurred gradually over time, was precipitated by work stress, and was a multidimensional experience. Factors that contributed to burnout included feelings of ineffectiveness, challenging patients, lack of appreciation, secondary trauma, excessive work demands, insufficient organizational support, and burnout culture. Resources that were found to be protective included relational support, self-care, enhancing self-awareness, collaborative communication, notice and appreciation, manageable case load, and increased flexibility. Finally, results indicated that psychiatrists perceived both physical and mental health consequences as an outcome of their burnout; however, mental health consequences were prominent. This research could inform health promotion programs aimed at reducing burnout in psychiatrists, which could ultimately contribute to a reduction in psychiatrists leaving their job due to burnout.