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Burnout Found Prevalent Among Doctors in Single Health System

Last Updated: February 20, 2018.

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 Feb. 19 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

TUESDAY, Feb. 20, 2018 (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 Feb. 19 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Amy K. Windover, Ph.D., 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 1,145 physicians (35 percent) 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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