Advertisement

Distress and burnout in young medical researchers before and during the Greek austerity measures: forerunner of a greater crisis?

  • Dimitra Sifaki-Pistolla
  • Vasiliki-Eirini Chatzea
  • Evangelos Melidoniotis
  • Enkeleint-Aggelos Mechili
Original Paper

Abstract

Purpose

Distress and burnout are strongly correlated with austerity and financial recessions. Aim of this study was to assess distress and burnout among young medical researchers (YMR) in Greece before and during the financial crisis.

Methods

In total 2050 YMR affiliated in all the nursing and medical departments of Greece were enrolled (1025 in Period A: 2008 and 1025 in Period B: 2017). Distress and burnout were measured via DASS-21 and Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) questionnaires.

Results

Before the crisis, prevalence of distress and burnout among young medical researchers was 24 and 20%, respectively. During the financial crisis distress prevalence increased significantly (56%), while there has also been a tremendous increase in burnout occurrence (60%). Specific sociodemographic characteristics presented significantly increased rate of change (females, singles and divorced/widowers, living with family members, volunteers, smokers and heavy alcohol consumers). Distress and burnout scales were positively correlated (Spearman’s r = 0.81; p = 0.01). Depression scores shifted from normal to moderate (rate of change = 13.1%), anxiety levels increased from normal to severe (rate of change = 14.3%) and tension/stress scores elevated from normal to severe (rate of change = 20.2%).

Conclusions

It is evident that the current financial crisis and working conditions have a strong impact on health status of young medical researchers in Greece. The observed increased trends and the identified predictors could guide targeted and comprehensive interventions towards tackling distress among the medical researchers not only in Greece but also in other countries suffering from financial crisis.

Keywords

Professional burnout Depression Stress Young medical researchers Austerity measures Economic recession Financial crisis 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the developers of the Greek DASS and MBI questionnaires for providing permission to use these tools; and the original developers for their approval and support. Additionally, the authors would like to acknowledge the significant contribution of several collaborators from the University of the Aegean for their guidance and contribution towards the successful implementation of the current study.

Funding

None.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. 1.
    Goodman CJ, Mance SM (2011) Employment loss and the 2007–09 recession: an overview. Mon Labor Rev 134:3–12Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Karanikolos M, Mladovsky P, Cylus J et al (2013) Financial crisis, austerity, and health in Europe. Lancet 381:1323–1331CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Stuckler D, Basu S, Suhrcke M et al (2009) The public health effect of economic crises and alternative policy responses in Europe: an empirical analysis. Lancet 374:315–23CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Van Gyes G, Szekér L (2014) Impact of the crisis on working conditions in Europe. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. Dublin, IrelandGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lee S, Guo WJ, Tsang A et al (2010) Evidence for the 2008 economic crisis exacerbating depression in Hong Kong. J Affect Disord 126:125–33CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wahlbeck K, McDaid D (2012) Actions to alleviate the mental health impact of the economic crisis. World Psychiatry 11:139–45CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Giorgi G, Arcangeli G, Mucci N et al (2013) Economic stress in workplace: the impact of fear the crisis on mental health. Work 51:135–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mucci N, Giorgi G, Cupelli V et al (2015) Work-related stress assessment in a population of Italian workers. Stress Questionnaire Sci Total Environ 502:673–679CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Giorgi G, Leon-Perez JM, Cupelli V et al (2014) Do I just look stressed or am I stressed? Work-related stress in a sample of Italian employees. Ind Health 52:43–53CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Economou M, Peppou L, Fousketaki S et al (2012) Economic crisis and mental health: effects on the prevalence of common mental disorders. Psychiatriki 24:247–61Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Economou M, Madianos M, Peppou LE et al (2013) Suicidal ideation and reported suicide attempts in Greece during the economic crisis. World Psychiatry 12:53–9CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Economou M, Peppou LE, Louki E et al (2012) Depression telephone helpline: help seeking during the financial crisis. Psychiatiki 23:17–28Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Economou M, Madianos M, Theleritis C et al (2011) Increased suicidality amid economic crisis in Greece. Lancet 378:1459–1460CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wilson S, James D, Forrester A (2011) The medium-secure project and criminal justice mental health. Lancet 378:110CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Madianos M, Economou M, Alexiou T et al (2011) Depression and economic hardship across Greece in 2008 and 2009: two cross-sectional surveys nationwide. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 46:943–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kentikelenis A, Karanikolos M, Papanicolas I et al (2011) Health effects of financial crisis: omens of a Greek tragedy. Lancet 378:1457–1458CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Modrek S, Stuckler D, McKee M et al (2013) A review of health consequences of recessions internationally and a synthesis of the US response during the great recession. Public Health Rev 35:1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Frasquilho D, Matos MG, Salonna F et al (2016) Mental health outcomes in times of economic recession: a systematic literature review. BMC Public Health 16:115CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Manzano-García G, Montañés P, Megías JL et al (2017) Perception of economic crisis among Spanish nursing students: its relation to burnout and engagement. Nurse Educ Today 52:116–20CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mucci N, Giorgi G, Roncaioli M et al (2016) The correlation between stress and economic crisis: a systematic review. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat 12:983CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Garrosa E, Moreno-Jimenez B, Liang Y et al (2008) The relationship between socio-demographic variables, job stressors, burnout, and hardy personality in nurses: an exploratory study. Int J Nurs Stud 45:418–27CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Herbert DL, Coveney J, Clarke P et al (2014) The impact of funding deadlines on personal workloads, stress and family relationships: a qualitative study of Australian researchers. BMJ Open 4:e004462CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Tabolli S, Di Pietro C, Renzi C et al (2009) Job satisfaction and psychological wellbeing in bio-medical researchers. G Ital Med LavErgon 32:B17–22Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kennedy F, Hicks B, Yarker J (2014) Work stress and cancer researchers: an exploration of the challenges, experiences and training needs of UK cancer researchers. Eur J Cancer Care 23:462–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Tomljenovic M, Kolaric B, Stajduhar D et al (2014) Stress, depression and burnout among hospital physicians in Rijeka, Croatia. Psychiatr Danub 26:450–458PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Nature Publishing Group (2016) Early career researchers need fewer burdens and more support. Nature 538:427Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Tijdink JK, Vergouwen AC, Smulders YM (2014) Emotional exhaustion and burnout among medical professors; a nationwide survey. BMC Med Educ 14:183CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Tijdink JK, Verbeke R, Smulders YM (2014) Publication pressure and scientific misconduct in medical scientists. J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics 9:64–71CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Tijdink JK, Schipper K, Bouter LM et al (2016) How do scientists perceive the current publication culture? A qualitative focus group interview study among Dutch biomedical researchers. BMJ Open 6:e008681CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Branas CC, Kastanaki AE, Michalodimitrakis M et al (2015) The impact of economic austerity and prosperity events on suicide in Greece: a 30-year interrupted time-series analysis. BMJ Open 5:e005619CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Antonakakis N, Collins A (2014) The impact of fiscal austerity on suicide: on the empirics of a modern Greek tragedy. Soc Sci Med 112:39–50CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Ásgeirsdóttir TL, Corman H, Noonan K et al (2012) Are recessions good for your health behaviors? Impacts of the economic crisis in Iceland. National Bureau of Economic Research, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Lyrakos GN, Arvaniti C, Smyrnioti M et al (2011) Translation and validation study of the depression anxiety stress scale in the Greek general population and in a psychiatric patient’s sample. Eur Psychiatry 26:1731CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Antony MM, Bieling PJ, Cox BJ et al (1998) Psychometric properties of the 42-item and 21-item versions of the depression anxiety stress scales (DASS) in clinical groups and a community sample. Psychol Assess 10:176–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Kantas A, Vassilaki E (1997) Burnout in Greek teachers: main findings and validity of the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Work Stress 11:94–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Maslach C, Jackson SE, Leiter MP (1996) Maslach burnout inventory, 3rd edn. Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo AltoGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Butterworth P, Rodgers B, Windsor TD (2009) Financial hardship, socio-economic position and depression: results from the PATH through the life survey. Soc Sci Med 69:229–37CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Sareen J, Afifi TO, McMillan KA et al (2011) Relationship between household income and mental disorders: findings from a population-based longitudinal study. Arch Gen Psychiatry 68:419–27CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Stuckler D, Basu S, Suhrke M et al (2011) Effects of the 2008 recession on health: a first look at European data. Lancet 378:124–125CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Economou M, Madianos M, Peppou LE et al (2013) Major depression in the era of economic crisis: a replication of a cross-sectional study across Greece. J Affect Disord 145:308–14CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Hasin DS, Fenton MC, Weissman MM (2011) Epidemiology of depressive disorders. In: Tsuang MT, Tohen M, Jones P (eds) Textbook in psychiatric epidemiology. Wiley, West SussexGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Robila M, Krishnakumar A (2005) Effects of economic pressure on marital conflict in Romania. J Fam Psychol 19:246–51CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Cifuentes M, Sembajwe G, Wo S (2008) The association of major depressive episodes with income inequality and the human development index. Soc Sci Med 67:529–39CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Conger RD, Wallace LE, Sun Y et al (2002) Economic pressure in African American families: a replication and extension of the family stress model. Dev Psychol 38:179–93CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Choi H, Marks NF (2008) Marital conflict, depressive symptoms and functional impairment. J Marriage Fam 70:377–90CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinic of Social and Family Medicine, School of MedicineUniversity of CreteCreteGreece
  2. 2.University Hospital of HeraklionCreteGreece
  3. 3.Department of Healthcare, Faculty of Public HealthUniversity of VloraVlorëAlbania

Personalised recommendations