Annual Dialysis Conference

Annual Dialysis Conference

Issue: April 2021
Source:

Shanafelt, T. Professional burnout: Does the current culture of health care foster professional burnout? Presented at: Annual Dialysis Conference. March 5-7, 2021 (virtual meeting).


Disclosures: Shanafelt reports being employed by Stanford Medicine.
March 22, 2021
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Intervention, discussions essential to reducing burnout, increased fulfillment in work

Issue: April 2021
Source:

Shanafelt, T. Professional burnout: Does the current culture of health care foster professional burnout? Presented at: Annual Dialysis Conference. March 5-7, 2021 (virtual meeting).


Disclosures: Shanafelt reports being employed by Stanford Medicine.
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Physicians who engaged in discussions about the “virtues and challenges” of their specialties and in organizations with wellness-centered leadership experienced decreased burnout and increased fulfilment in work, according to a speaker.

“When you have a work unit where things are operating well, colleagues support each other and have each other’s back, and they’ve optimized the unit, even when the macro-organization has challenges, they will often do well,” Tait Shanafelt, MD, chief wellness officer at Stanford Medicine, said during his keynote speech at the virtual 2021 Annual Dialysis Conference.

Tait Shanafelt

For the intervention, Shanafelt and colleagues included 74 practicing physicians from the department of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in a facilitated discussion group focused on reflection and shared experiences as physicians. The group met biweekly for 9 months.

Researchers then evaluated participants for job satisfaction, empowerment at work, quality of life and fatigue using a series of scales. The evaluations took place every 3 months throughout the intervention and 3 months afterward.

Findings identified a 5.3-point increase in empowerment and engagement at work 3 months after the study and a 15.5% decrease in depersonalization related to burnout.

In an additional study on work unit leadership, Shanafelt and colleagues included 2,400 physicians and utilized a12-point behavior scale, leading to a 60-point leader score, to evaluate the behavior of 129 unit chiefs.

“Every one-point improvement in that 60-point scale was associated with a 4% lower burnout rate and 9% higher professional fulfillment rate in the physician team members,” Shanafelt said. “About 10% of the variability in burnout was explained by the leader behavior score, with half of the variation in professional fulfillment across the 2,400 physicians explained by the behavior of the chief.”

Treating physicians with respect, informing physicians about what is happening in the organization, listening to the opinions of others and recognizing a job well done were among the behaviors measured by the physicians.

“We have to think about the seven driver domains: workload, work efficiency, flexibility, control, meaning in work, values, community and support and work life integration,” Shanafelt said. “To the extent those are suboptimal, the environment is leading to burnout. More optimal, it’s leading to engagement.”