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Personal resilience in psychiatrists: systematic review

  • Ranjita Howard (a1), Catherine Kirkley (a2) and Nicola Baylis (a3)


Aims and method

The concept of personal resilience is relevant to physician well-being, recruitment and retention, and to delivering compassionate patient care. This systematic review aims to explore factors affecting personal resilience among psychiatrists, in particular, those that may impair well-being and those that facilitate resilience practice. A literature search was performed of the Ovid®, Embase®, CINAHL and PsycINFO databases, using keywords to identify empirical studies involving psychiatrists that examined resilience, stress and burnout from the past 15 years.


Thirty-three international English language studies were included, showing that a combination of workplace, personal and non-workplace factors negatively and positively influenced well-being and resilience.

Clinical implications

Given that workplace factors were the most commonly cited, it would appear that any resilience package that predominantly targets interventions at the workplace level would be particularly fruitful. Future research, however, needs to address the absence of a universal measurement of well-being and its moderators so that any potential interventions are better evaluated.

Declaration of interest


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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ranjita Howard (


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Personal resilience in psychiatrists: systematic review

  • Ranjita Howard (a1), Catherine Kirkley (a2) and Nicola Baylis (a3)
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