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Medical Burnout

An important paper:

Abstract

Background

Burnout is typically viewed as an individual condition, and no link has been identified between burnout and loneliness.

Objective

To investigate the association of burnout with loneliness and social network degree and centrality.

Methods

A survey containing the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), a 3-question loneliness scale, and a social connectivity component was sent to residents in a large urban academic medical center internal medicine residency program.

Results

The response rate was 77% (95 of 124 residents). We defined significant burnout as MBI subscores of ≥ 27 for emotional exhaustion (EE), ≥ 10 for depersonalization (DP), or both. This was met by 43 (45%), 47 (49%), and 31 (33%) out of 95 respondents, respectively. Those with significant burnout had higher loneliness scores: 5.6 versus 4.5 for EE (P = .002; OR = 1.50; 95% CI 1.15–1.95); 5.4 versus 4.6 for DP (P = .024; OR = 1.33; 95% CI 1.03–1.71); and 5.8 versus 4.6 for both EE and DP (P = .001; OR = 1.54; 95% CI 1.17–2.02). Rating a larger number of coresidents as closer connections on a 5-point Likert scale was not associated with lower burnout scores. No measures of centrality were associated with burnout scores for EE and/or DP. High personal accomplishment subscores on the MBI did correlate significantly with several measures of centrality.

Conclusions

Burnout was associated with loneliness in a dose-dependent fashion. Greater sense of personal accomplishment was associated with greater network centrality.

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