Effects of gaps in priorities between ideal and real lives on psychological burnout among academic faculty members at a medical university in Japan: a cross-sectional study

Chatani, Yuki, Nomura, Kyoko, Horie, Saki, Takemoto, Keisuke, Takiuchi, Masumi, Sasamori, Yukifumi, Takenoshita, Shinichi, Murakami, Aya, Hiraike, Haruko, Okinaga, Hiroko, and Smith, Derek (2017) Effects of gaps in priorities between ideal and real lives on psychological burnout among academic faculty members at a medical university in Japan: a cross-sectional study. Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine, 22 (1). 32.

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Abstract

Background: Accumulating evidence from medical workforce research indicates that poor work/life balance and increased work/home conflict induce psychological distress. In this study we aim to examine the existence of a priority gap between ideal and real lives, and its association with psychological burnout among academic professionals.

Methods: This cross-sectional survey, conducted in 2014, included faculty members (228 men, 102 women) at a single medical university in Tokyo, Japan. The outcome of interest was psychological burnout, measured with a validated inventory. Discordance between ideal-and real-life priorities, based on participants' responses (work, family, individual life, combinations thereof), was defined as a priority gap.

Results: The majority (64%) of participants chose "work" as the greatest priority in real life, but only 28% chose "work" as the greatest priority in their conception of an ideal life. Priority gaps were identified in 59.5% of respondents. A stepwise multivariable general linear model demonstrated that burnout scores were associated positively with respondents' current position (P < 0.0018) and the presence of a priority gap (P < 0.0001), and negatively with the presence of social support (P < 0.0001). Among participants reporting priority gaps, burnout scores were significantly lower in those with children than in those with no children (P-interaction = 0.011); no such trend was observed in participants with no priority gap.

Conclusions: A gap in priorities between an ideal and real life was associated with an increased risk of burnout, and the presence of children, which is a type of "family" social support, had a mitigating effect on burnout among those reporting priority gaps.

Item ID: 50356
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1347-4715
Keywords: academic professions, children psychological burnout, priority gap between ideal and real lives, social support
Additional Information:

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Funders: Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan (MoE)
Projects and Grants: MoE grant in scientific research number 16H05262, MoE grant in scientific research number 25460814
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 08:14
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169903 Studies of Asian Society @ 50%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920408 Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being) @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920413 Social Structure and Health @ 50%
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