Wallace JE, Lemaire JB, Ghali WA. Physician wellness: A missing quality indicator

Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
The Lancet (Impact Factor: 45.22). 11/2009; 374(9702):1714-21. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61424-0
Source: PubMed


When physicians are unwell, the performance of health-care systems can be suboptimum. Physician wellness might not only benefit the individual physician, it could also be vital to the delivery of high-quality health care. We review the work stresses faced by physicians, the barriers to attending to wellness, and the consequences of unwell physicians to the individual and to health-care systems. We show that health systems should routinely measure physician wellness, and discuss the challenges associated with implementation.

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Available from: Jane Lemaire, Jul 16, 2014
    • "Physician well-being has been described as a key quality indicator for healthcare systems[30], impacting hugely on the standard of patient care delivered. It is apparent from the results of this research study that the symptoms of burnout are prevalent among Irish general practitioners and may be negatively impacting on the quality of care that their patients receive. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Burnout constitutes a significant problem among physicians which impacts negatively upon both the doctor and their patients. Previous research has indicated that burnout is prevalent among primary care physicians in other European countries and North America. However, there is a paucity of research assessing burnout among Irish general practitioners and examining predictive factors. Aims To report the findings of a survey of burnout among Irish general practitioners, and assess variables related to burnout in this population. Methods An online, anonymous questionnaire was distributed to general practitioners working in the Republic of Ireland. Results In total, 683 general practitioners (27.3 % of practising Irish general practitioners) completed the survey. Of these, 52.7 % reported high levels of emotional exhaustion, 31.6 % scored high on depersonalisation and 16.3 % presented with low levels of personal accomplishment. In total, 6.6 % presented with all three symptoms, fulfilling the criteria for burnout. Emotional exhaustion was higher among this sample than that reported in European and UK studies of burnout in general practitioners. Personal accomplishment was, however, higher in this sample than in other studies. Multiple regression analyses revealed that younger age, non-principal status role, and male gender were related to increased risk of burnout symptoms. Conclusions The symptoms of burnout appear prevalent among Irish general practitioners. This is likely to have a detrimental impact both upon the individual general practitioners and the patients that they serve. Research investigating the factors contributing to burnout in this population, and evaluating interventions to improve general practitioner well-being, is, therefore, essential.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Irish Journal of Medical Science
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    • "Organizations need to recognize the impact this is having on physician attitudes and, emotions, and their willingness and capability to provide care. With a growing concern about physician well-being, many organizations are promoting the extension the Triple Aim concept (enhancing the patient experience, population management and costefficient care) to a Quadruple Aim focus to emphasize the vital link between physician wellness, physician satisfaction and optimal organizational performance [21] [22]. Not only do we need to more effectively deal with disruptive behaviors, we need to do what we can to help our physicians thrive in today's healthcare environment. "
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    ABSTRACT: Disruptive behaviors continue to play a disturbing role in today’s health care environment negatively affecting care relationships that can adversely impact outcomes of patient care. Many organizations have implemented a number of different strategies in an effort to address this important issue with varying degrees of success. New complexities, and changing roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities for the delivery of appropriate, high value, high quality, safe, satisfying care have added increasing pressures on health care organizations to better integrate and coordinate health care delivery across the entire spectrum of care. Physicians play a crucial role in this process. When disruptive behaviors occur, rather than taking the traditional more remedial punitive approach to behavioral management, organizations would do better to try to focus on strategies that address physician and staff needs and provide appropriate supportive services to help them better adjust to stress and pressures of today’s health care environment. Increasing levels of stress and burnout are taking their toll on physician attitudes and behaviors resulting in increasing levels of disillusionment, dissatisfaction, and frustration affecting physician well-being and performance. Physicians often won’t act on their own and we need to look to the organizations they are affiliated with to take the initiative by providing appropriate administrative, clinical, and emotional support services before the occurrence of an unwanted event. Allowing physicians input, listening to their concerns, and providing needed support will enhance physician satisfaction, engagement, compliant attitudes, and behaviors that lead to less disruption and better patient care.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Hospital practice (1995)
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    • "These have focused mainly on the extrinsic/environmental factors such as increasing workload and working hours, demanding patients, working with terminally ill or trauma patients, family-work conflicts, violence at work etc as risk factors. [20] [21] Literature looking at work engagement and the relationship between burnout and work engagement among doctors is extremely limited. "

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