New SNO initiative launched to address member burnout


Caring for patients with CNS tumors is often demanding and stressful.  At the annual SNO meeting this year, the Society will be launching a new initiative entitled “SNOCares” to address results shared from the Neuro-Oncology Burnout and Career Satisfaction survey. Burnout can be characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and loss of meaning or purpose in one’s work. Neuro-oncology professionals were surveyed from September – December 2016 via a web-based portal that consisted of questions on demographic, lifestyle and work characteristics. The Maslach Burnout Inventory, a validated questionnaire measuring professional burnout was used. The survey found that:

  • Neuro-oncology professionals have a higher incidence of burnout than those working in other areas of cancer.  In fact, 63% of respondents to the SNO survey had high burnout.

Through the SNOCares initiative, SNO will incorporate various activities and tools throughout the annual meeting to provide healthy ways to manage stress, which in turn can mitigate symptoms of burnout. This new wellness initiative will:

  • Work towards awareness and utilization of techniques to improve risk factors associated with stress to improve quality of life and productivity in various aspects of one’s life.
  • Include activities that provide a positive benefit in the management of stress-related symptoms.

SNOCares activities and items planned for the 2017 Annual Meeting include:

  • Massages On Education Day. Massage therapists will be available to provide complimentary chair massages in 15-minute increments. Routinely receiving massages triggers a relaxation response and improves the physical effects that can arise from stress. The massage chairs will be placed in the prefunction area and will be available on a first-come basis.
  • Morning Yoga. Yoga has been shown to promote mindfulness providing overall awareness making it a great tool when plagued with stress-related events. Yoga sessions led by a professional instructor will be offered from 6am-7am, Friday and Saturday morning during the conference. Yoga mats will be provided. Space is limited, and will be available on a first-come basis.
  • Stress balls. Repeatedly gripping and releasing will help with management of tension and stress; balls will be available throughout the meeting venue.
  • Stress management tip cards. Included in your registration bags will be a folded tip sheet on techniques to incorporate within one’s daily routine to promote relaxation.

SNOCares hopes you find these activities, tips and techniques helpful and we look forward to more opportunities to implement overall wellness to improve work/life balance amongst our members.