Exploring Personal Demands and Burnout Symptoms among Veterinary Students: Does Recovery Influences this Relationship?
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The amount of medical students with burnout symptoms is 14.50% (Conijn, Boersma, & Van Rhenen, 2015). This means that veterinary students in their master’s programme have a risk of experiencing burnout symptoms. Unlike other research focusing on work related predictors this study focuses on personal demands as a cause for burnout symptoms. With higher levels of personal demands it may be harder for students to recover after a study- or workday. Therefore the mediating role of recovery on the relation between personal demands and burnout symptoms was investigated. Personal demands were identified by two focus groups among 14 veterinary students, and literature research. Additional the personal demands, recovery and burnout symptoms were measured in an online questionnaire. This questionnaire was sent to 649 veterinary students and 344 students participated. Almost all personal demands were positively related to burnout symptoms. The only exception was the effect of perfectionism on cynicism. In addition, this study found a mediating effect of relaxation on the relation between personal demands and exhaustion. Personal demands were negatively related to relaxation and relaxation was negatively related to exhaustion. In conclusion, the study found that personal demands influenced exhaustion and relaxation mediated this relationship among veterinary students in their master program.