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BMJ Open. 2016 Nov 23;6(11):e013947. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013947.

Burnout prevalence in New Zealand's public hospital senior medical workforce: a cross-sectional mixed methods study.

Author information

1
Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, Wellington, New Zealand.
2
University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand.
3
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To explore the prevalence of, and associated factors contributing to burnout among senior doctors and dentists working in the New Zealand's public health system.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional, mixed methods study.

SETTING:

New Zealand's 20 district health boards (DHBs).

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 1487 of 3740 senior doctors and dentists who are members of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists working in DHBs were recruited (response rate 40%).

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES:

Gender, age, self-rated health status, vocation and hours of work per week were obtained from an electronic questionnaire. Burnout was measured using the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory. Qualitative data taken from an open-ended comments section was coded using grounded theory and used for contextual data.

RESULTS:

The overall prevalence of high personal burnout was 50%. Women aged <40 years had 71% prevalence of high personal burnout. Prevalence of high work-related burnout and patient-related burnout was 42% and 16%, respectively. Those working in emergency medicine and psychiatry had significantly higher mean work-related burnout than other specialties (p<0.001). On multivariate analysis, having fair or poor health status (OR 10.8, 95% CI 6.8 to 17.1), working more than 14 consecutive hours (OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.12 to 1.82) and being a woman (OR 2.14, 95% CI 1.68 to 2.73) were independently associated with high personal and work-related burnout. Personal burnout rates decreased with age (age 30-39 OR 2.86, 95% CI 1.78 to 4.59, age 40-49 OR 2.45, 95% CI 1.70 to 3.55, age 50-59 OR 1.70, 95% CI 1.17 to 2.46, compared with age>60). Qualitative data emphasised intense and unrelenting workloads, under-staffing, onerous on-call duties and frustrations with management as factors contributing to burnout.

CONCLUSIONS:

High burnout appears prevalent in New Zealand's senior doctors and dentists. Many attribute their feelings of burnout to work conditions. These findings may assist with understanding contributors to burnout and with developing strategies to ameliorate the high burnout found across this cohort.

KEYWORDS:

Burnout; Copenhagen Burnout Inventory; New Zealand; Qualitative data; senior doctors

PMID:
27881531
PMCID:
PMC5168491
DOI:
10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013947
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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