Educating junior Doctors about burnout: A comparison of two educational formats

Pitt, Rachael (2005). Educating junior Doctors about burnout: A comparison of two educational formats Professional Doctorate, School of Education, The University of Queensland.

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Author Pitt, Rachael
Thesis Title Educating junior Doctors about burnout: A comparison of two educational formats
School, Centre or Institute School of Education
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2005-12
Thesis type Professional Doctorate
Supervisor Catherine Manathunga
Nerina Jimmieson
Debra Bath
Total pages 265
Total black and white pages 265
Language eng
Subjects 130101 Continuing and Community Education
130103 Higher Education
Abstract/Summary This thesis compares junior doctors’ preferences, perceptions, and experience of didactic and collaborative pedagogies within the context of continuing professional development (CPD). The pedagogies were operationalised as a lecture and a workshop on the topic of burnout. Chapter 1 describes the notion of burnout and its hypothesised link to stress incurred at work. In this respect, a range of workplace stressors are described and the extent to which they predict the primary symptoms of burnout, including emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy are outlined. Medical professionals are not immune to burnout, with those new to the profession particularly vulnerable to stress and strain. Medical professionals are also positioned to recognise burnout in colleagues and consumers of their services, indicating their need to understand this condition through educational opportunities. Junior doctors, however, have limited opportunities to engage in CPD. This thesis examines the optimisation of CPD activities by examining the application of didactic and collaborative pedagogies. The adult learning literature examined in Chapter 2 outlines the theoretical basis of this study within the paradigms of psychology, sociology, and education. This illuminates the changing conceptualisation of learning and the current understanding of CPD within lifelong learning. Further, it demonstrates that student-centred approaches to learning have been embraced by the CPD literature, for their accordance with the principles of adult learning. Didactic and collaborative pedagogies are outlined in Chapter 3, along with research examining their utility. Also presented here is the literature informing the research questions proposed in this thesis. These include participants’ pre-existing preferences for and perceptions of each pedagogy and the utility of each for increasing junior doctors’ knowledge of burnout. Participants’ experience of the CPD sessions, including their confidence in their learning, and potential moderating influences within these interactions are also included. The quasi-experimental design of this study is outlined in Chapter 4 and incorporates quantitative and qualitative techniques. These include pre- and post-questionnaires, researcher observations, and semi-structured interviews. Specifically, first- and second-year junior doctors from two major suburban hospitals in Brisbane, Australia were targeted for inclusion, as their experience of a problem-based learning (PBL) medical school curricular differs from the traditional curricular generally reported in the CPD literature. Thirty-three junior doctors participated in the study, with a further nine taking part in a pilot study at a third hospital. Participation involved attendance at either a collaborative or didactic CPD session on burnout and the completion of pre- and post-measures, with an additional interview optional. Chapter 5 outlines the results of this study. A major finding was that didactic and collaborative pedagogies resulted in similar patterns and levels of burnout knowledge increases from pre- to post-test. These pedagogies, however, had differential effects on learners’ feelings of confidence in their learning and their perceptions of having learnt from CPD. Furthermore, researcher observations highlighted participants’ personalisation of the CPD sessions as opportunities to discuss their own experiences of stress and burnout. The learning sophistication of junior doctors was also revealed through their instigation of strategies, such as asking questions, to modify the CPD sessions to meet their own learning needs. The interviews again revealed participants’ experience of stress and the nurturing role adopted by medical education officers to optimise learning for this population. Participants identified preferences for collaborative and didactic pedagogies but revealed that this depends on a variety of factors, such as presenter characteristics, content, and stage of learning. Participants also revealed that they occasionally used CPD sessions as an opportunity to disengage from their work, with implications for their resultant learning. Chapter 6 provides a summary of the major findings and their implications for theory and practice, with potential areas for future research highlighted. In accordance with the applied nature of this study, recommendations for consideration by CPD practitioners working in hospital-based CPD for junior doctors are outlined. The major conclusion of this thesis is that junior doctors see a place for both didactic and collaborative pedagogies in their CPD experiences. This implies that the theoretical position on these two pedagogies requires further investigation. In addition, this thesis highlights the potential for prior learning experiences and preferences to influence current CPD experiences and perceptions, along with various evaluation outcomes. This suggests that a variety of factors must be considered when implementing CPD for junior doctors.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Professional Doctorates - UQ staff and students only
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Thu, 03 Jan 2013, 15:29:52 EST by Rachael Pitt on behalf of School of Veterinary Science