Does emotional intelligence upon interaction with perceived stress, moderate burnout among resident doctors? A study from West Bengal, India

Indrajit Saha, Satabdi Mitra


Background: Burnout as a result of perceived stress is a jeopardizing condition for a medical graduate during the years of acquiring proficiency. Emotional intelligence (EI) is a coping strategy to handle vocational stress. The objectives of the study were to assess the effects of various predictors on resident doctors’ burnout and moderation effects of TEI by interaction with perceived stress.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted from February to April 2016 among 61 postgraduate trainees and 54 internees/ house staff respectively over various departments of Bankura Sammilani Medical College and Hospital. Data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire for background characteristics and work-related variables. Cohen perceived stress scale, Trait EI questionnaire and Shirom-Melamed burnout questionnaire were applied for measuring perceived stress, EI, and burnout, respectively. Statistical analysis was done with of SPSS version 22.0, and for moderation analysis, Andrew F. Hyne’s SPSS macro was adopted. Nonparametric bootstrapping was done.

Results: In binary logistic regression, residents’ burnout was found to have significant association to heavy duty load and negative life event in recent past. In moderation analysis, a significant interaction effect with coefficient=0.031 (p=0.002) indicating that the relationship between the perceived stress (PS) and burnout was moderated by TEI.

Conclusions: TEI is an important moderator of stress and resultant burnout of resident doctors. Training of EI of these professionals might bring about better work performance, psychological adaptation and well-being of individuals and society as a whole.


Burnout, Emotional intelligence, Perceived stress, Moderation, Post graduate trainee

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