Physician Burnout: Are We Treating the Symptom before We Understand the Disease?

September 26, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​Because the quality, definitions, and assessment methods used in studies on physician burnout vary so greatly, a systematic review concluded that the prevalence of the problem could not be definitively determined—and that ways of defining, measuring, and studying burnout need to be standardized. The review, published in the September 18, 2018, issue ofJAMA, examined 182 studies from 45 countries. The researchers observed wide variations in criteria used to signify overall burnout and criteria used for subscales. Although most of the studies (156, or 86%) used some form of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), these studies used at least 47 different definitions for overall prevalence of burnout.

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