Levels of Burnout High for Emergency Medicine Health Care Providers

Only 41 percent of responders to a survey on burnout reported having access to support programs

HealthDay News — High levels of burnout are reported by emergency medicine health care professionals, according to a study published online May 26 in the European Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Roberta Petrino, M.D., from the Ospedale Regionale di Lugano in Switzerland, and colleagues conducted an online survey based on the Abbreviate Maslach inventory with the addition of three questions focused on possible modifying factors to examine the level of burnout among different professionals of emergency medical services. A total of 1,925 responders were included: 84, 12, and 2 percent were physicians, nurses, and paramedics, respectively.

The researchers found that 62 percent of responders had burnout. For depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, and personal accomplishment, the burnout level was high (47, 46, and 48 percent, respectively). Compared with men, women reported a higher level of burnout (64 versus 59 percent) and nurses had higher burnout than physicians (73 versus 60 percent). Higher levels of burnout were reported by less experienced professionals (74 versus 60 percent for those with less than five years versus more than 10 years of experience). A higher risk for burnout was seen in association with reported frequent understaffing situations (70 versus 37 percent). Burnout was associated with an increased risk for the desire to change workplace (87 versus 40 percent). Forty-one percent of responders reported having access to support programs.

“This situation, if not addressed correctly and urgently by policymakers, is likely to represent a threat to the health care system,” the authors write.

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