Post-pandemic prevention strategies for burnout syndrome in Peruvian university teachers
Estrategias de prevención pospandemia del síndrome de burnout en docentes universitarios peruanos
1Universidad César Vallejo. Lima, Perú.
2Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marco. Perú.
3Universidad San Juan Bautista. Perú.
Citar como: Dionisio Escalante ER, Palacios Garay JP, Zavaleta Oliver JM, Venturo Orbegoso CO, Damian Nuñez EF. Post-pandemic prevention strategies for burnout syndrome in Peruvian university teachers. Salud, Ciencia y Tecnología. 2023; 3:572. https://doi.org/10.56294/saludcyt2023572
Received: 08-06-2023 Revised: 30-07-2023 Accepted: 13-09-2023 Published: 14-09-2023
Prevention strategies are methods aimed at helping, because it is a continuous process, which must be considered as an integral part of the educational process, especially to overcome the burnout syndrome. In the methodology, a qualitative approach was considered, the design was hermeneutic phenomenological. The population was made up of 9 participants who participated in the technical interview and in the instrument, a semi-structured interview, which makes it possible to delve deeper into the research topic. It is concluded that, for those interviewed, prevention strategies should not be seen as a static and delimited reality in their theory; it is dynamic and adaptive according to the educational context in which students and teachers live. It is decided that teachers, directors and education managers should consider prevention strategies as dynamic and adaptive according to the face-to-face or virtual educational context. They highlight the importance of training, training processes, continuous training, and the use of technological tools in a virtual context. The same ones that must contribute to the application of prevention strategies for students and must help the pedagogy of the teacher. These burnout syndrome prevention strategies consist of a prolonged response by the organism to stressful factors and are required to improve the preparation of the class, as well as the pedagogical, didactic and, above all, emotional processes.
Keywords: Strategies; Prevention; Burnout Syndrome; Teachers.
Las estrategias de prevención son métodos dirigidos a ayudar, porque es un proceso continuo, que debe ser considerado como parte integral del proceso educativo, especialmente para superar el síndrome de burnout. En la metodología se consideró un enfoque cualitativo, el diseño fue fenomenológico hermenéutico. La población estuvo conformada por 9 participantes que participaron en la entrevista técnica y en el instrumento, entrevista semiestructurada, lo que permite profundizar en el tema de investigación. Se concluye que, para los entrevistados, las estrategias de prevención no deben ser vistas como una realidad estática y delimitada en su teoría; es dinámica y adaptativa de acuerdo al contexto educativo en el que viven alumnos y docentes. Se decide que los docentes, directivos y gestores educativos deben considerar las estrategias de prevención como dinámicas y adaptativas según el contexto educativo presencial o virtual. Destacan la importancia de la formación, los procesos formativos, la formación continua y el uso de herramientas tecnológicas en un contexto virtual. Las mismas que deben contribuir a la aplicación de estrategias de prevenciónpara los estudiantes y deben ayudar a la pedagogía del docente. Estas estrategias de prevención del síndrome de burnout consisten en una respuesta prolongada del organismo a factores estresantes y son necesarias para mejorar la preparación de la clase, así como los procesos pedagógicos, didácticos y, sobre todo, emocionales.
Palabras clave: Estrategias; Prevención; Síndrome De Burnout; Profesores.
The pandemic resulted in social isolation imposed to prevent the spread of the virus. Therefore, educational institutions had to adapt to emergency remote learning. Factors related to access to technologies, increased work demands and the absence of face-to-face interactions, among others, contributed to a high level of emotional stress.(1) Teachers have had to face new situations at work, as during the confinement they had to adapt their teaching to the new pandemic context. Their work demands changed, as they had to adapt to online environments and the use of new teaching methods, which together with factors such as emotional exhaustion and lack of resources led them to experience stress and burnout.(2)
Burnout symptoms combined with other conditions can impact the education system, affecting teaching goals, the educational environment and the quality of learning. These aspects can aggravate problems associated with teacher burnout, leading to physical, emotional and social problems, decreased job performance and adverse outcomes in the teaching and learning process for students.(3) In that sense, adapting teaching work involved learning, but also overwork, exhaustion and frustration. Basic education teachers scored higher on the burnout rate than higher education teachers during the pandemic.(4)
In previous work, burnout prevention strategies found that burnout syndrome is a prolonged response of the body to emotional and interpersonal stressors at work and includes chronic fatigue, ineffectiveness and denial of what has happened. It usually occurs in those work situations where excessive levels of demands have already become an unconscious and even socially valued habit and the applied counselling strategy contributes to the preparation of the educational psychologist in the prevention of Occupational Burnout Syndrome and improves the educational teaching process, provides greater psychological stability and favours the unity of educational influences.(5)
In another study, it was established that the guidance of professionals and psycho-pedagogical advisors supports the work of teachers, allowing them to know the situations that can influence the learning of students, to strengthen attitudes, aptitudes, values and emotions, that is, motivate and encourage creativity, also, form autonomous beings with the ability to solve problems, in order to build a quality education and warmth.(6)
Prevention strategies are methods directed at individuals, but for this case, they alone cannot overcome institutional problems. Consequently, the joint implementation of person-directed and organization-directed interventions better prevents and combats burnout and also creates sustainable well-being in organisations.(7) Coping strategies are used when the demands of a stressful situation exceed individual resources. These strategies involve behavioural and cognitive efforts that aim to reduce or help an individual tolerate a specific internal and/or external demand.(8)
They are also a process of continuous support and accompaniment for all people, in all aspects, in order to enhance prevention and human development throughout life. This help is provided through a professionalized intervention, based on scientific and philosophical principles. Most definitions of guidance include the word help as a defining feature. It should be emphasized that guidance is a continuous process, that it should be seen as an integral part of the educational process, that it involves all educators and that it should reach all people, in all aspects of their personal development and throughout the life cycle. Depending on the circumstances, guidance may focus on some particular aspects: educational, vocational, personal, etc. (areas of intervention); but what gives guidance its identity is the integration of all aspects into a coordinated unit of action.(9)
Five strategy recommendations are proposed by level of analysis, from intra-individual, providing stress management interventions; to interpersonal, cultivating and encouraging social support; to organizational, implementing high quality performance management. This sequence from micro to macro level is consistent with management theory and is also useful for leaders planning and implementing different types of interventions. Note that our recommendations address crisis-related burnout challenges, but also enable organizations to thrive in calmer times.(10)
The subcategories of prevention strategies are, characteristics, trainings and psycho-pedagogical training processes, consisting of constant processes by which the teacher prepares him/herself to do the job of teaching, which requires the acquisition of competencies and the execution of skills, with the sole purpose of being a good teacher and giving the best of him/herself.(11)
The category burnout syndrome refers to this chronification of work-related stress, which manifests itself as a long-lasting response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stressors at work.(12) Burnout syndrome has been associated with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and stress. In response, some teachers implement a variety of coping strategies for emotional control that are not always functional in mitigating such difficulties.(13)
For the present study, the subcategories emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and low personal fulfilment are considered, which can occur in professionals who carry out any work activity whose objective is to care for other people.(14) The subcategory emotional exhaustion has to do with the decrease and loss of emotional resources that corresponds to the measurement of the level of feeling emotionally overwhelmed, evidenced in having a feeling of exhaustion, emotional flattening, feeling of impossibility of facing the situation. Burnout results from chronic work-related stress. It is an occupational syndrome characterized by overwhelming feelings of emotional exhaustion, negativity towards work and lack of personal fulfilment.(15) Burnout, although originally explored in medical and psychiatric professions, has become alarmingly prevalent in a variety of professions and industries.
The subcategory depersonalization, comprises the impersonal response and lack of feeling for the subjects served, expressed in the development of negative attitudes of insensitivity and cynicism towards the recipients of the service provided. It is a coping style that consolidates after the cognitive reappraisal phase. Before it is consolidated as a coping strategy, professionals have unsuccessfully used other strategies, there is emotional anaesthesia, insensitivity towards the feelings and needs of others.(15)
The subcategory of personal fulfilment at work refers to feelings of competence and successful completion of the work task performed on a daily basis, which in the case of Burnout Syndrome corresponds to a negative evaluation of one's own work, with the reproach of not having achieved the proposed objectives, with experiences of personal inadequacy, low professional self-esteem, and feelings of inability to achieve.
The aim of the study was to analyse and identify strategies to prevent burnout syndrome in university teachers after the pandemic. The study is relevant if the team of teachers is aware of the syndrome, if they establish designs for prevention and recognition, and if they return to reduce stressors and strengthen personal relationships.(16)
The study is justified because currently, burnout syndrome is an important psychosocial problem, and has been causing concern on the part of researchers and institutions, due to the seriousness of its consequences at the individual and organizational level, the need to establish strategies for the prevention of burnout syndrome in university teachers is required in order to face the latent problem and establish theories that allow the study to be supported.
The study considered a qualitative approach, which enables the understanding of the problem, the method considered is inductive, based on the particularities and reaching the generality. The design was hermeneutic phenomenological, which consists of a detailed description of what is to be known and understood, the problem.(17) The population consisted of 9 participants who took part in the interview technique and in the instrument, they answered questions in a semi-structured interview, which makes it possible to go deeper into the research topic.
RESULTS Y DISCUSSION
In the category of strategies for dealing with burnout syndrome, it can be seen from Figure 1, as a result of the interviews carried out, that in the subcategory of prevention strategies, the characteristic subcategory of psycho-pedagogical training highlights the need for training in the use of technological tools, psycho-pedagogical training processes, pedagogical training and creating an atmosphere conducive to learning. Similarly, it is stated that face-to-face training is required and that it should be in emotional control. Similarly, it is established that burnout syndrome prevention strategies consist of a prolonged response of the organism to stressful, emotional and interpersonal factors that occur at work and include chronic fatigue, inefficiency and denial of what has happened. It usually occurs in those work situations where excessive levels of demands have already become an unconscious and even socially valued habit and the applied counselling strategy contributes to the preparation of the teacher in the prevention of Burnout Syndrome and improves the educational teaching process, providing greater psychological stability and favouring the unity of educational influences.(5)
In the sub-category characteristics should be oriented to the use of certain instruments to improve the preparation of the class, as well as in the pedagogical and didactic processes, and above all in the emotional area should be considered as a primordial aspect. On the other hand, the participants pointed out that there is also a need for training on the use of technological tools, specifically on platforms and applications, which indicates the need to implement this type of training. Likewise, teacher training schedules should be established at different times to allow for their participation; due to their workload, they often do not manage to participate. Therefore, the guidance of professionals and psycho-pedagogical advisors is necessary to support the work of teachers, allowing them to know the situations that can influence the learning of students, to strengthen attitudes, aptitudes, values and emotions, that is, to motivate and encourage creativity, as well as to form autonomous beings with the ability to solve problems, with the aim of building a quality and warmth education.(6)
In the analysis of the semantic network on prevention strategies, we observe emerging categories such as the lack of psycho-pedagogical training, in which the participants agree on the need to develop training in the pedagogical and didactic areas, which should be offered at accessible times. In this sense, prevention strategies are methods aimed at individuals, but in this case, they alone cannot overcome institutional problems. Consequently, the joint implementation of person-directed and organization-directed interventions better prevents and combats burnout and also creates sustainable wellbeing in organizations.(7) Another emerging category is pandemic benefits, which allowed participants to use unfamiliar technology platforms and applications. Similarly, teachers have had to face new situations at work, as during the confinement they have had to adapt their teaching to the new pandemic context. Their work demands changed as they had to adapt to online environments and the use of new teaching methods, which together with factors such as emotional exhaustion and lack of resources led them to experience stress and burnout.(2)
Moreover, in the quotations of the subcategory psycho-pedagogical training characteristics, there is a strong relationship with creating an atmosphere that favours the learning process, which will allow for better results; in addition, the code pedagogical strengthening is associated with the psycho-pedagogical training process, which is presented as a pedagogical proposal to provide university teachers as a strategy for educational guidance within the framework of continuous training. It should be considered that prevention strategies are methods aimed at individuals, but in this case, they alone cannot overcome institutional problems. Consequently, the joint implementation of person-directed and organization-directed interventions better prevents and combats burnout and also creates sustainable well-being in organizations.(7)
Figure 1. A priori and emergent categories of prevention strategies
Regarding to Burnout syndrome; after the interview it can be confirmed that subcategories such as emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation, self-fulfilment and work stress stand out. Factors that are continuously studied and considered when analysing burnout syndrome. However, as can be seen in Figure 2, new subcategories emerge from the interviews, such as teacher empathy, insensitivity to students, emotional state control, stress management, stress due to virtual sessions, overload of activities, fatigue, economic needs and job burnout. Coincidentally, burnout syndrome has been associated with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and stress. Faced with this fact, some teachers implement a variety of coping strategies for emotional control that are not always functional to mitigate such difficulties.(13)
Figure 2. Aprioristic and emergent categories of Burnout syndrome
In other words, when collecting information in relation to burnout syndrome, it is evident that the sub-categories proposed and studied in past decades are changing. This is due to the fact that in the new educational scenarios new demands and contexts are taking place, which generate stress and cause burnout syndrome. This coincides with what happened in the pandemic, as it resulted in the social isolation imposed to prevent the spread of the virus, educational institutions had to adapt to emergency remote teaching. Factors related to access to technologies, increased work demands and the absence of face-to-face interactions, among others, contributed to high levels of emotional stress.(1)
Observing the interviewees' statements in relation to burnout syndrome, it is clear that analyzing it requires a more holistic view of the reality of teachers in the educational context. And above all, learning to contextualize the fact that burnout syndrome is expressed in education professionals according to the context in which they are living. Burnout syndrome is not alien to the reality of the professional teacher and educational manager. In this sense, teachers and educational managers must be aware that in the exercise of their profession they will suffer emotional exhaustion, work stress, depersonalization, conditioning in their personal fulfilment in a face-to-face or virtual context of education. He or she has to overcome this by implementing alternative activities that support his or her health.
The subcategory Burnout Syndrome shows that the subcategory emotional exhaustion is strongly linked to the control of the emotional state as expressed by the participants to overcome situations of work stress. The subcategory emotional exhaustion, has to do with the decrease and loss of emotional resources that corresponds to the measure of the level of feeling emotionally overwhelmed, evidenced in having a feeling of exhaustion, emotional flattening, feeling of impossibility to cope with the situation. Burnout results from chronic work-related stress. It is an occupational syndrome characterized by overwhelming feelings of emotional exhaustion, negativity towards work and lack of self-fulfilment.(15)
Regarding the subcategory depersonalisation, participants have had to develop the skill of teacher empathy as a measure of coping with adverse situations that students were going through due to the pandemic. In this sense, teachers have had to face new situations at work, as during the confinement they have had to adapt their teaching to the new pandemic context. Their work demands changed as they had to adapt.(2)
On the other hand, in the subcategory personal fulfilment, the participants expressed the need to stimulate the teachers in the various academic activities as well as to achieve job stability, thus showing the strong rootedness with the teaching stimulation code, which leads to the professional goals they have set for themselves as professionals. Coping strategies are used when the demands of a stressful situation exceed individual resources. These strategies involve behavioural and cognitive efforts that aim to reduce or help an individual tolerate a specific internal and/or external demand.(8)
Also, the association of the work stress code with insensitivity with the students can be seen, but to a lesser extent, since using the stress management strategy during the virtual sessions has allowed them to develop a better control of their emotional state in spite of long working days in other work centres; on this point the participants agree that the overload of activities has led them to fatigue at the end of the day. It should be emphasised that guidance is a continuous process, that it should be seen as an integral part of the educational process, that it involves all educators and that it should reach all people, in all aspects of their personal development and throughout the life cycle. Depending on the circumstances, guidance may focus on some particular aspects: educational, vocational, personal, etc. (areas of intervention); but what gives guidance its identity is the integration of all aspects into a coordinated unit of action.(9)
To prevent cases of forgotten or neglected DJ stents in the future, urologists need to pay more attention to informing and educating patients on post-operative procedures and follow-up. This case provides that if an experienced urologist performs it, the US-guided mini-PCNL is safe and effective in transplanted kidney patients.
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CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The authors declare no competing interests.
Conceptualization: Elisa Dionisio Escalante
Acquisition of funds: Jenny Zavaleta Oliver
Methodology: Edgar Damian
Supervision: Carlos Venturo Orbegoso
Writing - proofreading and editing: Jessica Palacios Garay