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Health Serv Manage Res. 2006 Nov;19(4):215-22.

Patient reciprocity and physician burnout: what do patients bring to the patient-physician relationship?

Author information

1
Department of Health Management and Informatics, School of Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA. halbeslebenj@health.missouri.edu

Abstract

Despite its criticality to the provision of health care, little is known about how the patient-physician relationship influences burnout. This article seeks to understand how patient performance (e.g. being informative about needs) during office visits is associated with perceived reciprocity in the patient-physician relationship, which is in turn associated with physician burnout. To that end, we report the results of a cross-sectional survey of 252 matched pairs of patients and their primary care physicians about a recent office visit. The findings support a social exchange model of burnout that suggests that patient stressors and patient performance predict perceived reciprocity and subsequent burnout. Interestingly, patients' perceptions of their performance differed from physicians' perceptions; physicians' perceptions of performance fit the social exchange model better than patients' perceptions of performance.The present work suggests that while they are a source of demands, patients also provide resources that are critical to the patient-physician relationship. To the extent that we can encourage these resources, we can improve perceived reciprocity and reduce burnout in physicians.

PMID:
17132198
DOI:
10.1258/095148406778951493
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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