HealthDay News — According to a study published in Pediatrics, burnout is prevalent among pediatric residents and is associated with suboptimal patient care attitudes and behaviors.

Tamara Elizabeth Baer, MD, MPH, from Boston Children’s Hospital, and colleagues surveyed 258 residents from 11 pediatric residency programs to assess the prevalence of burnout. 

Using seven questions from a standardized qualitative survey the authors measured patient care attitudes and behaviors.

The researchers found that 39% of respondents endorsed burnout. The odds of reporting suboptimal patient care attitudes and behaviors were significantly elevated among residents with burnout.

These included discharging patients to make the service more manageable, not fully answering questions or discussing treatment options, making treatment or medication errors, ignoring the social or personal aspect of illness, and feeling guilty about patient treatment (adjusted odds ratios, 4.2, 3.5, 7.1, 9.6, and 6.0, respectively).

“Residency programs should develop interventions addressing burnout and its potential negative impact on patient care,” the authors write.

Reference

Baer TE, et al. “Pediatric Resident Burnout And Attitudes Toward Patients”. Pediatrics. 2017. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-2163 [Epub ahead of print]

Mahan JD. “Burnout In Pediatric Residents And Physicians: A Call To Action”. Pediatrics. 2017. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-4233 [Epub ahead of print]

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