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Salud mental

Print version ISSN 0185-3325


CABRERA PIVARAL, Carlos Enrique et al. Effect of a psycho-educative intervention to decrease Burnout Syndrome on confidence employees working for the CFE (Federal Electric Comission). Salud Ment [online]. 2009, vol.32, n.3, pp.215-221. ISSN 0185-3325.

Modern life imposes several different labor demands on human beings; thus, bringing about stressing situations. All those events perceived as threatening bringing about tension are called stressors. A stressing situation comes about when there exists a discrepancy between environment demands and adequate resources to cope with them. All these factors lead to physiological, cognitive and motor responses which enhance perception and create the need of better solutions to allow appropriate adaptation behaviors. When stress is present at the workplace in a recurrent fashion, it is known as Labor Stress (LS), an alarming circumstance affecting individuals and organizations. Main causes of LS are: physical conditions, schedule, work position, interpersonal relations and other organizational variables. Labor Stress is a public health and a labor health problem, for it is related to an increase in labor accident, morbidity and absenteeism rates; thus, generating negative attitudes that yield economic loss to institutions. The Burnout Syndrome (BS) is a response to chronically labor stress manifested through emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, as well as hostile and aggressive attitudes toward workmates and service users, resulting in a feeling of poor personal development. Objective Assess the effect of a psycho-educative intervention to decrease BS in managing or directive employees from one sector of CFE Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Materials and methodology A quasi-experimental study was carried out; this included measurements prior and after educative intervention carried out on confidence employees from CFE Guadalajara from February through September 2005. The study sample was made up of 29 managing or directive employees, conforming four groups; one random-selected group received educative intervention; the other three were control groups; different questionnaires were applied: personal data, psycho-social factors and BS through the Maslach Burnout Inventory Scale (MBI). From a participative-educational view point, encouraged by the Pan-American Health Organization (PHO), the educative intervention sought health promotion through the betterment and consistency of mental and physical wellbeing. All BS concepts as well as psychological factors were analyzed. Other workshop included the development of preventing, coping and treatment strategies at individual and social levels. Finally, a corrective program directed to decreasing psychological risk factors in the organization was encouraged. Also, a post-intervention assessment was applied. Results Subjects had an average age of 31.5 ± 6.8 years; 52% were females; group 1 decreased for all indicators; emotional exhaustion from 71% to 29%; depersonalization from 43% to 14%; lack of personal development from 57% to 14%. However, no significant difference was found in both groups by sex. Discussion In personnel with specific responsibilities, obligations, opportunities, challenges and rewards based on their performance work environment often drives them to frustration and despair. When the employee believes that gives more than he receives, he becomes emotionally exhausted and more even if he do not have the resources to cope with the prospect of work. Also, it is documented that at younger age there is an increased risk of presenting the Burnout. This is because interpersonal relationships are more contentious because of the lack of experience in management. In the series reported, on both groups we were not able to document this relationship, but still, there is a lack of an international consensus to recognize this as a risk factor. Mingote describes that when the employee has less than five years working, they are often idealistic, utopian dreamers, unlike those with more than ten years in the job and are in risk of experiencing monotony at work, loss of interest and the downgrade. Also, this type of workers is subject to overtime. This excess produces physical and mental stress and leads to lower feelings of personal accomplishment. Even though there could be resources for coping with the monotony at work and that provides resources for better interpersonal communication and support networks at work. If the worker feels happy with the work carried out, and feels as an autonomous decision maker able to practice his skills, then he will have the protective factors to cope with the Syndrome of Burnout at work and it is unlikely that he will found in his work a monotonous and a routine activity with little opportunity to practice their skills. The emotional exhaustion related to fatigue and tiredness are caused by excessive wear at work and very demanding work environments with little autonomy and control of work situations. Depletion causes difficulties with daily responsibilities, these factors are related to the work system and the social interactions in the workplace, which after the educative intervention modifies the emotional exhaustion level in the experimental group (29% of group). The depersonalization causes people to be treated as objects (coldness and insensitivity) causing the worker indifference and little empathy with the task of work. Although the level of depersonalization was low in the groups, it decreased in the experimental group, which may be caused by the coping mechanisms embedded in the educational intervention. The lack of personal accomplishment includes the limitations to understand the feelings and emotions of fellow workers and also have a positive influence for them to create pleasant environments (these completion rates increased in the intervention group). In developing countries, there is now general agreement on the importance of the behaviors and lifestyles in the generation of health problems as well as the importance of early healthy lifestyles. All countries have agreed to launch health and educational programs to prevent the modification of human behavior. This study provides a useful educational methodology that responds to how to bring workers to participate in their care, as well as a significant contribution to addressing a problem of this magnitude and importance to public health and health services in Latin America. Conclusion The psycho-educative program sensitized employees when developing strategies to decrease and control labor stressors that affects them, the same stressors that bring about BS.

Keywords : Burnout Syndrome; psycho-educative intervention; labour stress.

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