OBJECTIVE: Training in and practising emergency medicine are very stressful conditions that pose a significant emotional burden on physicians, placing them at high risk of developing burnout. The purpose of the current manuscript is to review the published literature on burnout prevalence among emergency medicine physicians and to identify the risk factors associated with its occurrence.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A search of MEDLINE (January 1980-March 2019) was conducted using the terms “burnout”, “emergency”, “physicians”, “emotional exhaustion”, “depersonalization” in various combinations. All studies, which assessed burnout prevalence (as primary or secondary outcome) among emergency medicine physicians and were published as full-text articles in English, were included in the review.
RESULTS: Twenty-seven studies met eligibility criteria. Although the prevalence of burnout among emergency medicine physicians is high, the exact incidence widely varies ranging between 25% and 77.8%, because of the unique characteristics of each population under study, and also due to the different definitions, tools, and cut-offs used for burnout diagnosis. Several work-related parameters (heavy work-load, low job satisfaction, a problematic co-workers relationship, and difficulty in balancing personal with professional life), personality traits and stress-copying methods, life-style parameters, and other mental disorders (such as stress and sleep disorders) are associated with the establishment of burnout.
CONCLUSIONS: Emergency medicine physicians are of a high risk of burnout, although further agreement is needed regarding the use of the Maslach Burnout Inventory as a diagnostic tool. Furthermore, the identification of the potential risk factors for this disorder is crucial so that high-risk groups could be early identified and properly addressed.
To cite this article
A. Boutou, G. Pitsiou, E. Sourla, I. Kioumis
Burnout syndrome among emergency medicine physicians: an update on its prevalence and risk factors
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 23 - N. 20