Comparing Burnout Between Graduate-Level and Professional Clinicians

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Burnout is a process that can lead to lower quality patient care and poorer treatment outcomes. Burnout is also prevalent among mental health clinicians. Accurate assessment of the prevalence of graduate student burnout, in comparison to licensed clinician burnout, should aid in understanding development of burnout and provide implications for training and for early intervention. Therefore, this study used the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory to compare three types of burnout, workplace (WB), personal (PB), and client (CB) between graduate-level clinicians (n = 88) and licensed clinicians (n = 119) to understand if one group is more at risk for burnout. No significant differences were found between graduate-level clinicians and licensed clinicians on PB, WB, or CB. All clinicians are much more at risk for PB than any other type of burnout, with 48.9% of graduate students reporting PB and 39.5% of clinicians reporting PB. Further, female clinicians were found to be at a higher risk for PB than male clinicians. These results emphasize a need to be proactive in identifying and mitigating burnout, emphasizing PB. With graduate students receiving regular supervision, assessment within programs may assist with graduate-level clinicians building healthier habits in clinical work, academic work, and personal life activities that mitigate burnout. The American Psychological Association marks the promotion of self-care, and subsequent mitigation of burnout, a competency training issue, as well as an ethical issue. Considering its prevalence and its impact, clinician burnout research may facilitate better treatment outcomes, as well as better clinician wellbeing. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved) Public Significance Statement—Clinician burnout is a prevalent training and ethical issue that negatively impacts mental health treatment. Results showed no differences in burnout between licensed clinicians and graduate-level trainees, with both groups at a higher risk for personal burnout. Further, female clinicians, regardless of trainee or licensed professional status were higher in personal burnout than male clinicians. As graduate clinicians with burnout may grow into professional clinicians with burnout, the findings highlight the need for graduate programs to undertake a more proactive approach to help future clinicians build healthier habits to support themselves, their colleagues, and their clients. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

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Training and Education in Professional Psychology





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