Self-care of Caregivers: Self-Compassion in a Population of Dutch Medical Students and Residents

Juliet Godthelpt, ME Muntinga, TJ Niessen, Piet Leguijt, TA Abma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: The incidence of burnout in medical students and residents continues to outpace that of the general population. Self-compassion, a concept in the study of well-being, may moderate against adverse mental health outcomes. The aim of this study is to extend prior research by investigating self-compassion levels in relation to sociodemographic variables and self-reported burnout in Dutch medical students and residents. Methods: We used a cross-sectional survey design. After inclusion, 295 participants completed the online survey. Self-compassion was measured using the Self-Compassion Scale Short-Form. Self-defined burnout symptoms were measured using a single-item measure. Data were analysed using multiple linear regression. Results: Being male was associated with having higher levels of self-compassion (β=0.131, p<.001) as well as being of higher age (β=0.175, p<.001). Reporting burnout was negatively associated with self-compassion (β=-.412, p<.001). Discussion: This study substantiated previous research linking low self-compassion to burnout, and showed a potential increased vulnerability of young and female students. Further investigation of causality and the processes underlying self-compassion development are needed to investigate whether self-compassion interventions can enhance the well-being of medical students and residents.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2020


  • Burnout
  • Gender
  • Self-compassion
  • medical education
  • student wellbeing

Cite this