MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) — From 2014 to 2017, there was an improvement in burnout and satisfaction with work-life integration among U.S. physicians, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Tait D. Shanafelt, M.D., from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and colleagues surveyed U.S. physicians and a sample of the U.S. working population to examine burnout and work-life integration.

The researchers found that 5,197 physicians completed the surveys (17.1 percent). Of the 4,893 physicians who completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory, 43.9 percent reported at least one symptom of burnout in 2017, compared with 54.4 and 45.5 percent in 2014 and 2011, respectively (P < 0.001 and P = 0.04). Satisfaction with work-life integration was more favorable in 2017 than 2014 (42.7 versus 40.9 percent; P < 0.001), but it was less favorable than in 2011 (48.5 percent; P < 0.001). Physicians were at increased risk for burnout (odds ratio, 1.39) and were less likely to be satisfied with work-life integration (odds ratio, 0.77) than other working adults in a multivariable analysis adjusting for age, sex, relationship status, and hours worked per week.

“This trend is reason for optimism and suggests that progress is both possible and under way,” the authors write. “Given the evidence that burnout impacts patient satisfaction, access, quality of care, and costs, continued efforts to make progress are needed.”

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