Balint groups as a means to increase job satisfaction and prevent burnout among general practitioners
2008 (English)In: Annals of Family Medicine, ISSN 1544-1709, E-ISSN 1544-1717, Vol. 6, no 2, 138-145 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
PURPOSE: General practitioners (GPs) occupy a central position in health care and often have demanding working situations. This corps shows signs of exhaustion, and many consider quitting their job or plan to retire early. It is therefore urgent to find ways of improving GP's satisfaction with their work. One approach might be Balint group participation. The aim of this study was to explore GPs' experience of participating in Balint groups and its influence on their work life. METHODS: We conducted a descriptive, qualitative study. Nine GPs who had participated in Balint groups for 3 to 15 years were interviewed. A phenomenologic analysis was carried out to describe the phenomenon of Balint group participation. RESULTS: The GPs perceived that their Balint group participation influenced their work life. Analyses revealed several interrelating themes: competence, professional identity, and a sense of security, which increased through parallel processes, creating a base of endurance and satisfaction, thus enabling the GPs to rediscover the joy of being a physician. CONCLUSIONS: The GPs in this study described their Balint group participation as beneficial and essential to their work life as physicians in several ways. It seemed to increase their competence in patient encounters and enabled them to endure in their job and find joy and challenge in their relationships with patients. Balint groups might thus help GPs handle a demanding work life and prevent burnout. These groups might not suit all GPs, however, and additional ways to reduce stress and increase job satisfaction should be offered.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 6, no 2, 138-145 p.
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject Health Care Research
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-16039DOI: 10.1370/afm.813ISI: 000254217400007PubMedID: 18332406OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-16039DiVA: diva2:43810