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Primary Care Providers Report More Workplace Burnout, Anxiety

Providers who experience higher levels of anxiety, withdrawal more likely to report burnout

TUESDAY, May 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Primary care providers report more workplace burnout and higher scores for anxiety than other health care professionals, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

Debora Goetz Goldberg, Ph.D., from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and colleagues analyzed survey responses from 1,273 health care professionals from 154 small- to medium-sized primary care practices. Behaviors and attitudes of health care professionals, including anxiety and withdrawal, were assessed, and their correlations with workplace burnout were determined.

The researchers found that 31.6 percent of the physicians, 17.2 percent of advanced practice clinicians, 18.9 percent of clinical support staff, and 17.5 percent of administrative staff reported workplace burnout. Results showed that all health care professional groups had high levels of anxiety, regardless of burnout status. Compared with all other health care professionals, providers had significantly higher scores for anxiety. The likelihood of reporting burnout was more than three times higher for providers who experienced higher levels of anxiety and withdrawal compared with those who experienced low levels in these domains.

"It is critical to understand the dynamic factors associated with workplace burnout in primary care, which could help in the development of prevention and intervention strategies to reduce burnout, address workplace dissatisfaction, and prevent future turnover among physicians and other health care professionals," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed proprietary interest in the Change Diagnostic Index instrument.

Abstract/Full Text

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