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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 47

of 'Discussing serious news'

"Balint group" meetings for oncology residents as a tool to improve therapeutic communication skills and reduce burnout level.
Bar-Sela G, Lulav-Grinwald D, Mitnik I
J Cancer Educ. 2012 Dec;27(4):786-9.
Medical training, particularly residency, may pose many challenges and may lead to burnout. Oncology training may be more stressful, given the prolonged exposure to death and dying. Balint group is an intervention method common in medical training, aimed at improving communication skills and strengthening doctor-patient relationships. We arranged for our oncology residents, guided by a senior oncologist and a clinical psychologist, to meet monthly for a discussion of personal cases from the residents' experiences. At the beginning of the year, higher measures in two burnout parameters were found in junior residents compared to senior residents. At the end of the year, the gap in Maslach Burnout Inventory scores between junior and senior residents had decreased, while burnout level decreased slightly during the year in junior residents. It was felt that participation in a Balint group could improve communication abilities of residents and contribute to their feelings of self-accomplishment as doctors.
Division of Oncology, Rambam Health Care Campus, and Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, POB 9602, Haifa, 31096, Israel. g_barsela@rambam.health.gov.il