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PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264921, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753191


PURPOSE: To identify preferred burnout interventions within a resident physician population, utilizing the Nominal Group Technique. The results will be used to design a discrete choice experiment study to inform the development of resident burnout prevention programs. METHODS: Three resident focus groups met (10-14 participants/group) to prioritize a list of 23 factors for burnout prevention programs. The Nominal Group Technique consisted of three steps: an individual, confidential ranking of the 23 factors by importance from 1 to 23, a group discussion of each attribute, including a group review of the rankings, and an opportunity to alter the original ranking across participants. RESULTS: The total number of residents (36) were a representative sample of specialty, year of residency, and sex. There was strong agreement about the most highly rated attributes which grouped naturally into themes of autonomy, meaning, competency and relatedness. There was also disagreement on several of the attributes that is likely due to the differences in residency specialty and subsequently rotation requirements. CONCLUSION: This study identified the need to address multiple organizational factors that may lead to physician burnout. There is a clear need for complex interventions that target systemic and program level factors rather than focus on individual interventions. These results may help residency program directors understand the specific attributes of a burnout prevention program valued by residents. Aligning burnout interventions with resident preferences could improve the efficacy of burnout prevention programs by improving adoption of, and satisfaction with, these programs. Physician burnout is a work-related syndrome characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a sense of reduced personal accomplishment [1]. Burnout is present in epidemic proportions and was estimated to occur in over 50 percent of practicing physicians and in up to 89 percent of resident physicians pre-COVID 19. The burnout epidemic is growing; a recent national survey of US physicians reported an 8.9 percent increase in burnout between 2011 and 2014 [2]. Rates of physician burnout have also increased [3] during the COVID-19 pandemic with a new classification of "pandemic burnout" experienced by over 52 percent of healthcare workers as early as June of 2020 [4]. Physician burnout can lead to depression, suicidal ideation, and relationship problems that may progress to substance abuse, increased interpersonal conflicts, broken relationships, low quality of life, major depression, and suicide [5-7]. The estimated rate of physician suicide is 300-400 annually [8-10].

Burnout, Professional/prevention & control , Physicians/psychology , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Burnout, Professional/psychology , Exercise/psychology , Female , Focus Groups , Humans , Internship and Residency/statistics & numerical data , Male , Mindfulness , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling , Physicians/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , Sleep Hygiene , Social Support