Study IDs Effective Rx for Burned-Out Doctors

Shorter workdays, stress-management training can help the more than half of U.S. physicians affected

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FRIDAY, Oct. 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors who feel burned out don't have to suffer, researchers report.

Burnout affects more than half of U.S. doctors, according to the Mayo Clinic researchers. Seeking ways to combat the problem, they reviewed 52 studies that included more than 3,600 doctors.

"We ... compared the effectiveness of interventions across a range of burnout outcomes," review lead author Dr. Colin West said in a Mayo news release.

"It's clear that both individual strategies and structured organizational approaches are effective in achieving clinically meaningful reductions in burnout," said West, who studies ways to reduce doctors' distress.

Effective strategies for individuals include mindfulness and stress-management training, as well as small group sessions where colleagues discuss their experiences confidentially, the Mayo review found.

Organizational strategies that work include limiting duty hours and making changes in the way care is provided in hospitals and clinics, the study also found.

The study authors called for more research into the problem. They also cited the need to know more about long-term benefits of combining strategies.

Their review was published recently in The Lancet.

More information

Helpguide.org has more on burnout.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic, news release, Oct. 4, 2016

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