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Table 1 Summary of included studies (n = 33)

From: Burnout in medical students: a systematic review of experiences in Chinese medical schools

Lead author Year Participants Outcome measure Items Primary aim Key findings
Chen [39] 2012 492 postgraduate medical students MBI-GS 15 • To determine burnout levels and related factors. • 38.4% students had moderate or high levels of burnout. • There was a correlation between burnout level on the dimension of EX and age, marriage status, course (PHD/Master), working hours, coping styles, anxiety. • There was a correlation between burnout level on the dimension of CY and age, type of course, coping styles, anxiety. • There was a correlation between burnout level on the dimension of PE reduction and gender, coping styles and anxiety.
Chen [44] 2011 471 undergraduate medical students LRS 20 • To determine burnout levels and related factors. • 30.6% students had above moderate levels of burnout. • Male students suffered more burnout on the dimension of EX. • There was a significant correlation between burnout and student-origin on the dimension of EX and CY. Students from cities suffered more burnout.
Shen [40] 2012 111 postgraduate medical students LRS 20 • To determine burnout levels and correlation with the sense of professional commitment. • The level of burnout among postgraduate medical students was average (not serious). • There was a correlation between overall burnout level and the sense of continuing commitment.
Di [37] 2014 635 undergraduate medical students LRS 20 • To determine burnout levels and related factors. • 41.7% students had above moderate levels of burnout. • Male students suffered more burnout than females on the dimensions of EX and CY. • Social support and professional commitment were negatively correlated to burnout.
Fan [52] 2015 277 undergraduate medical students MBI-SS Not stated • To determine the correlation between burnout levels and occupational motivation. • There was no significant correlation between burnout level and occupational motivation.
Fu [61] 2012 131 undergraduate medical students; 119 non-medical students LRS 20 • To test the difference between burnout levels in medical students and non-medical students. • Non-medical students had more serious burnout than medical students.
Hu [49] 2014 866 undergraduate medical students Li et al. 2011 Burnout Scale Not stated • To determine burnout levels and related factors. • There was significant difference of burnout level on the dimension of EX by different grades.
Jiang [38] 2008 42 non’211′ university students; 38 ‘211′ university students MBI-GS 15 • To determine burnout levels, related factors and differences between students from ‘211’ and non ‘211’ universities. • Burnout level of students from non’211′ university are higher than ‘211′ on the dimension of EX and CY. • There is negative correlation between burnout and organizational justice
Jin [43] 2010 77 undergraduate and postgraduate medical students MBI-GS 15 • To determine burnout levels and correlation with psychological problems and symptoms of psychopathology. There was no significant correlation between burnout and psychological problems and symptoms of psychopathology.
Li [62] 2015 1220 postgraduate medical students MBI-HSS 22 • To test burnout levels. • The burnout level on the dimensions of CY and PE reduction were more serious comparing to the MBI-HSS norm score
Li [63] 2015 224 postgraduate medical students MBI (version not stated) Not stated • To determine burnout levels and related factors. • Students’ level of burnout was moderate. • There was a significant correlation between burnout level and gender, marital status, drinking, smoking, student-origin.
Li [42] 2009 120 postgraduate medical students; 102 interns MBI-GS 22 • To determine burnout levels and related factors. • Students scored highly on the burnout dimensions of EX (39%) and PE reduction (52%) but less so on the dimension of CY (21%). • There was no significant difference between medical students and physicians on burnout levels. • Social support was associated with burnout levels on the dimension of EX and CY. • Medical students reported a lack of social support compared to physicians.
Li H [55] 2011 155 undergraduate medical students MBI 22 • To determine burnout levels and related factors. • There were significant correlations between burnout and the age and gender. The older the students the more serious burnout level on the dimension of CY. Male students suffered more than female students on the burnout dimension of CY.
Ling L [23] 2014 200 undergraduate medical students LRS 20 • To explore burnout levels and their correlation with parents’ upbringing style. • There was a significant correlation between burnout level and parents’ upbringing style.
Li L [48] 2013 679 undergraduate medical students LRS 20 • To determine burnout levels and related factors. • Self-efficacy and attributional style were negatively correlated to burnout • Scholarship and grade were predictors of students’ burnout level.
Li YZ [64] 2014 137 western medicine undergraduate medical students; 123 traditional Chinese medicine undergraduate students LRS 20 • To determine burnout levels and related factors. • To compare burnout levels between medical students learning western medicine and medical students learning traditional Chinese medicine. • 25.8% students had above moderate levels of burnout. • Medical students learning traditional Chinese medicine suffered more burnout than medical students learning western medicine on the dimensions of CY and PE reduction • There was significant difference in burnout level on the dimension of CY by grade among medical students learning traditional Chinese medicine. Grade two suffered the most burnout on the dimension of CY.
Liao [36] 2011 627 undergraduate medical students Scale based on LRS 24 • To determine burnout levels and related factors. • 52.1% students reported above moderate level of burnout • There was a significant correlation between burnout and student grade on the dimension of EX. Students from higher grade suffered burnout more commonly. • There was a significant correlation between burnout and student-origin on the dimension of PE reduction. Students from cities suffered more burnout.
Lu [34] 2012 80 undergraduate medical students MBI Not stated • To determine burnout levels. • 41% students are above moderate level of burnout.
Song [54] 2015 144 undergraduate medical students MBI-GS 15 • To determine the correlation between burnout levels and accomplishment motivation. • There was a significant negative correlation between burnout and accomplishment motivation on the dimensions of seeking success motivation. • There is significant correlation between burnout and accomplishment motivation on the dimensions of avoiding failure motivation
Song [53] 2013 378 undergraduate medical students Ni et al. 2009 Burnout Scale 14 • To explore burnout levels and their correlation with study motivation and psychological capital • Study motivation and psychological capital were negatively correlated to burnout.
Sun [56] 2013 458 undergraduate medical students MBI Not stated • To explore burnout levels and their correlation with social support and self-efficacy • Social support and self-efficacy were negatively correlated to burnout.
Wang [46] 2011 312 undergraduate medical students Ni et al. 2009 Burnout Scale 14 • To determine burnout levels and related factors. • The level of burnout among medical students is above average (serious). • There were significant correlations between burnout and gender and burnout and grade. Male students suffered more than female students on the burnout dimension of CY, but less on the burnout dimension of PE reduction. Grade 2 and 3 students suffered more than grade 1.
Wei [51] 2014 748 undergraduate medical students LRS 20 • To explore burnout levels and their correlation with study pressure. • There was a significant correlation between burnout level and study pressure.
Wu [50] 2012 388 undergraduate medical students LRS 20 • To determine burnout levels, related factors and correlation with the sense of professional commitment. • Students’ level of burnout was reported as moderate. • There was a significant negative correlation between burnout and scores of exams. • There was a correlation between burnout level and the sense of professional commitment on all the dimensions including affective commitment, normative commitment, continuing commitment and ideal commitment.
Xiao [45] 2013 442 undergraduate medical students LRS 20 • To test the correlation between burnout and emotional intelligence. • Overall burnout was higher in males except in PE reduction dimension. • There was a significant negative correlation between burnout and emotional intelligence.
Xu[35] 2009 610 undergraduate medical students LRS 20 • To determine burnout levels and organizational, social and individual factors related to this. • 39.5% students were suffering burnout, especially on the dimension of CY. • Male students and more senior students suffered more burnout than junior or female counterparts. • Social support and learning environment were significant correlated with burnout.
Yang[31] 2013 952 undergraduate medical students; 299 undergraduate nursing students LRS 20 • To explore burnout levels and their correlation with professional commitment and time management disposition. • The burnout levels of medical students on the dimension of CY and PE reduction were less serious than nurse students. • Professional commitment was negatively correlated to burnout. • Professional commitment was correlated to and time management disposition.
Yang[30] 2011 576 undergraduate medical students LRS 20 • To determine burnout levels and related factors and evaluate the effectiveness of group coaching intervention to deal with burnout among medical students. • The level of burnout among medical students was moderate and influenced by grade, academic performance, student-origin, family parenting pattern. • The higher the pressure, the more serious the burnout. Problem-focused coping styles were identified as beneficial to reduce burnout. Emotion-focused coping styles were identified as detrimental. • Group Intervention reduced burnout effectively by enhancing coping styles.
Zhang[47] 2013 323 undergraduate medical Students LRS 20 • To explore the correlation between burnout and the dormitory environment. • There was a significant negative correlation between burnout on the dimension of EX and dormitory environment on the dimension of social environment and learning environment. • There was a significant negative correlation between burnout (dimension of CY) and dormitory environment (dimension of social environment and learning environment).
Zhang[57] 2011 642 undergraduate medical students; 628 non-medical students; 132 physicians MBI-HSS 22 • To determine burnout levels and related factors. • Burnout levels were higher amongst medical students than non-medical students, and higher than physicians on the dimension of PE reduction, but lower than physicians on the dimensions of EX and CY. • There was a significant correlation between burnout and psychological problems and symptoms of psychopathology.
Zheng[41] 2015 545 postgraduate medical students LRS 20 • To determine burnout levels and related factors. • There was a significant difference of burnout level on the dimension of EX by different grades. Grade three students were the most burned out. • Male students suffered more burnout than female students on the dimension of EX.
Zhu HC[32] 2012 87 postgraduate medical students MBI-GS Not stated • To determine burnout levels and correlation with psychological problems and symptoms of psychopathology and the other factors. • 71.1% students are above moderate level of burnout. • Male students scored higher on the dimension of EX. • There is significant correlation between burnout and psychological problems and symptoms of psychopathology.
Zhu Y[33] 2012 184 undergraduate or postgraduate medical students LRS 20 • To determine burnout levels and correlation with exam performance. • 37.5% students are above moderate level of burnout. • Male students suffer more overall burnout than females. • There was a significant negative correlation between burnout and scores of exams.