ISSN ONLINE: 2558-815X
ISSN PRINT: 1584-9244
ISSN-L: 1584-9244

Coping strategy as a way to prevent emotional burnout in primary care doctors: a randomized controlled trial


Introduction. Burnout is one of the major unresolved problems of healthcare professionals. Considering the recent situation with COVID-19 and associated psychological stress, this issue becomes high- critical over the world.
Objective. The study aimed at validating the effectiveness of Asimov’s coping strategy among a group of primary care physicians in reducing emotional burnout.
Material and methods. The study was conducted in Almaty (Kazakhstan). The volunteers (N = 243)
were randomly divided into intervention group (IG) and control group (CG). In the IG, short-term psychotherapy based on the coping strategy (Asimov method) was implemented. Methods of measurement of emotional burnout included the use of emotional burnout (‘Maslach’) and Lazarus questionnaires. In addition, factors related to demography, work, and lifestyle were assessed as well.
Results. The assessment of the emotional burnout showed a high level of emotional burnout in both groups (p>0.05). After 6 months, emotional exhaustion (EE) (p=0.019) and depersonalization (DP) (p=0.028) indicators in the IG group were reduced, in contrast to the CG group, except for the lack of personal achievement (PA) (p=0.067). However, after 12months, indicators of EE and DP were decreased, at the same time the PA indicator was elevated in the IG group (p <0.05). The data of the study based on the Lazarus questionnaire (12 months) showed the effectiveness of this method (p <0.05).
Conclusions. The use of Asimov’s coping strategy showed a positive effect on the emotional status of primary care physicians. Such a strategy possesses the potential for the management of the psychological stability of doctors who underwent emotional burnout.
Keywords: emotional burnout, coping strategy, primary care physician.

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Address for correspondence:
Sergey LEE
S.D. Asfendiyarov Kazakh National Medical University, Republic of
Address: Tole Bi Street 94, Almaty, 050000, Kazakhstan
Email:; Phone +7 (708)8276065


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Lee S, Rozybakieva Z, Asimov M, Bagiyarova F, Tazhiyeva A, Ussebayeva N, SALIEV T, Tanabayeva S, Fakhradiyev I. Coping strategy as a way to prevent emotional burnout in primary care doctors: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Balk Med Union. 2020;55(3):398-409.