Background: Psychiatry has been consistently shown to be a profession characterised by 'high-burnout'; however, no nationwide surveys on this topic have been conducted in Japan.
Aims: The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of burnout and to ascertain the relationship between work environment satisfaction, work-life balance satisfaction and burnout among psychiatrists working in medical schools in Japan.
Method: We mailed anonymous questionnaires to all 80 psychiatry departments in medical schools throughout Japan. Work-life satisfaction, work-environment satisfaction and social support assessments, as well as the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), were used.
Results: Sixty psychiatric departments (75.0%) responded, and 704 psychiatrists provided answers to the assessments and MBI. Half of the respondents (n = 311, 46.0%) experienced difficulty with their work-life balance. Based on the responses to the MBI, 21.0% of the respondents had a high level of emotional exhaustion, 12.0% had a high level of depersonalisation, and 72.0% had a low level of personal accomplishment. Receiving little support, experiencing difficulty with work-life balance, and having less work-environment satisfaction were significantly associated with higher emotional exhaustion. A higher number of nights worked per month was significantly associated with higher depersonalisation.
Conclusions: A low level of personal accomplishment was quite prevalent among Japanese psychiatrists compared with the results of previous studies. Poor work-life balance was related to burnout, and social support was noted to mitigate the impact of burnout.