S Kalra. World Diabetes Day Activity: Professional Quality Of Life. The Internet Journal of Geriatrics and Gerontology. 2009 Volume 5 Number 2.
This report reviews a Professional Quality of Life campaign that was carried out at Bharti Hospital, Karnal, on World Diabetes Day 2009.
While World Diabetes Day activities all over the world focused on people with diabetes, Karnal went one step further, and engaged people who CARE for people with diabetes. The rationale behind this is that doctors and counsellors can not provide effective and efficient services unless they themselves are fit. Diabetes care is associated with a lot of stress, also known as compassion fatigue or burnout, which impairs the ability of an individual to help other people. Therefore, it is important to ensure optimal Professional Quality of Life i.e., mental and emotional health, in diabetes care providers.
21 diabetes care professionals including 5 doctors, 2 laboratory technicians, 5 multipurpose diabetes workers, 1 dietician, and 8 research staff, were administered the ProQoL version V, a questionnaire which measures compassion satisfaction, burnout and secondary traumatic stress (STS). Of the 21 respondents, 8 (38.09%) scored high on compassion satisfaction, with the rest reporting average compassion satisfaction. Six respondents (28.57%) had low and 15 (71.42%) had average burnout scores. Nine (42.85%) persons reported low secondary traumatic stress (STC), while 12 (57.14%) had average scores.
None of the 21 professionals reported low compassion satisfaction, high burnout or high secondary traumatic stress. This response is better than a study done earlier (2006) in the same hospital, when 40% workers (6/15) reported high compassion fatigue (low compassion satisfaction).
Comparing clinical care providers (n= 13) with research personnel (n= 8), the percentage of high compassion satisfaction score was similar [5/13 (38.46%) versus 3/8 (37.50%)] in both groups.
Low burnout and STS was more common in research personnel (3/6= 50%, 4/6= 66.7% respectively) than clinical care staff (3/13= 23.07%, 5/13= 38.46%). This may indicate a highest stress amongst clinical diabetes care providers as compared to diabetes research staff.
High compassion satisfaction was more common in males (n=12) (5/12= 41.75%) than females (n= 9) (3/9= 33.3%). However, low burnout and low STS were equally common in both genders (burnout: 3/12= 25.00%, 3/9= 33.33%; STS: 5/12= 41.68%, 4/9= 44.44%).
This activity was conducted by Archana Gaur, Karnal HQ, and was appreciated by all doctors and paramedical staff.
Assessing professional quality of life is an easy, effective, efficient and enjoyable way of improving ones’ bonding with ones’ customers. It also sensitizes diabetes care personnel to the importance of emotional and mental health, and helps ensure optimal delivery of diabetes care services.
We plan to utilize this tool at sites all across India in the coming year.