Burnout and its association with extracurricular activities among medical students in Saudi Arabia

Sami A. Almalki, Abdullah I. Almojali, Ali S. Alothman, Emad M. Masuadi, Meshal K. Alaqeel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: To assess levels of burnout in medical students, and to explore the influence of extracurricular activities on burnout at a medical school in Saudi Arabia.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted with first to fourth year medical students at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Socio-demographic, burnout level (the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Survey, MBI-SS) and participation in extracurricular activities data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Statistical analyses were performed using the Pearson's chi-square test and binary logistic regression.

Results: From the 306 medical students approached, 249 (81.4%) completed the questionnaire. The level of high burnout was 67.1% (n=167). The study revealed that the majority (62.3%, n=155) of students had high levels of cynicism, 58.6% (n=146) had high levels of emotional exhaustion, and 60.2% (n=150) had low levels of professional efficacy. Most of the students (73.5%, n=183) participated in extracurricular activities, and 112 (45%) students were organizers of extracurricular activities. No significant association was found between burnout levels and the frequency of involvement in extracurricular activities (χ2=2.2, df=2, p=0.333). However, students who were organizing extracurricular activities were less likely to have low professional efficacy (OR=0.51, 95% CI: 0.27- 0.96).

Conclusions: High levels of burnout were reported at this medical school. Although the burnout level is not significantly associated with the frequency of involvement in extracurricular activities, leading and organizing extracurricular activities might result in lower levels of burnout. Therefore, improving the students' leadership skills should be considered in curriculum planning, and greater emphasis should be placed on the quality of involvement in extracurricular activities rather than the quantity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-150
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of medical education
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 26 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • burnout
  • extracurricular activities
  • medical education
  • medical students
  • saudi arabia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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