Factor Underlying High Prevalence of Physician Burnout

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The researchers found that 399 of the 1145 physicians met the criteria for overall burnout.
The researchers found that 399 of the 1145 physicians met the criteria for overall burnout.

HealthDay News — Burnout is prevalent among physicians, affecting over one-third of physicians in a single health system, and is associated with health care delivery, according to a research letter published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Amy K. Windover, PhD, from the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues examined correlates of burnout overall and for the emotional exhaustion and depersonalization subscales among physicians from the Cleveland Clinic Health System. Physicians completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory prior to completing a mandatory communication skills course.

The researchers found that 399 of the 1145 physicians (35%) met the criteria for overall burnout. 

There were correlations for emotional exhaustion with increased likelihood of leaving the organization (odds ratio, 2.19) and with elevated patient satisfaction with primary care physician communication (β = 11.5); no correlations were seen for overall burnout or depersonalization.

There was a correlation for depersonalization with ombudsman complaints (odds ratio, 1.72); no correlations were seen for overall burnout and emotional exhaustion. No significant correlation was seen between burnout and productivity or patient satisfaction with inpatient or specialty care.

"Our findings have important implications for physician retention and health care delivery that have resulted in enterprise-wide mobilization and coordination of efforts to improve physician well-being," the authors write.

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Reference

Windover AK, Martinez K, Mercer MB, et al. Correlates and outcomes of physician burnout within a large academic medical center [published online February 19, 2018]. JAMA Intern Med. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.0019

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