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Acad Pediatr. 2018 Nov 2. pii: S1876-2859(18)30749-6. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2018.11.003. [Epub ahead of print]

Burnout in Pediatric Residents: Comparing Brief Screening Questions to the Maslach Burnout Inventory.

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Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. Electronic address:
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Emergency Medicine, Pittsburgh Children's Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA.
University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago and the data analyst for the Association of Pediatric Program Directors (APPD) Longitudinal Educational Assessment Research Network (LEARN).
Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
Seattle Children's Hospital and the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.
Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC.
University of Arizona and Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ.
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, OH.
Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.



Measuring burnout symptoms is important, but the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) has 22 items. This project compared three single items with the MBI and other factors related to burnout.


Data were analyzed from the 2016 and 2017 Pediatric Resident Burnout-Resilience Study Consortium surveys which included standard measures of perceived stress, mindfulness, self-compassion, and resilience, the MBI, and the 1- and 2-item screening questions.


In 2016 and 2017, data were collected from 1785/2723 (65%) and 2148/3273 (66%) eligible pediatric residents respectively. Burnout rates on the MBI were 56% in 2016 and 54% in 2017. The Physicians' Work Life Study (PWLS) item generated estimates of burnout prevalence of 43%-49%, and compared with the MBI for 2016 and 2017, had sensitivities of 69 -72%, specificities of 79%-82%, positive likelihood ratios (LR+) of 3.4-3.8 and negative likelihood ratios (LR-) of 0.35-0.38. The combination of an Emotional Exhaustion (EE) item and a depersonalization (DP) item generated burnout estimates of 53% in both years, and compared with the full MBI, had sensitivities of 85%-87%, specificities of 84%-85%, LR+ of 5.7-6.4 and LR- of 0.18 in both years; both items were significantly correlated with their parent subscales. The single items were significantly correlated with stress, mindfulness, resilience, and self-compassion.


The 1- and 2-item screens generated prevalence estimates similar to the MBI and were correlated with variables associated with burnout. The 1- and 2-item screens may be useful for pediatric residency training programs tracking burnout symptoms and response to interventions.


Burnout; Education; Pediatric; Resident; Resilience; Screening


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