Objective: Intensive workload and limited training opportunities for Irish non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHDs) has a negative effect on their health and well-being, and can result in burnout. Burnout affects physician performance and can lead to medical errors. This study examined the prevalence of burnout syndrome among Irish NCHDs and its association with self-reported medical error and poor quality of patient care.
A cross-sectional quantitative survey-based design.
All teaching hospitals affiliated with University College Cork.
NCHDs of all grades and specialties.
The following instruments were completed by all participants: Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Service Survey (MBI-HSS), assessing three categories of burnout syndrome: Emotional exhaustion (EE), Personal Achievement (PA) and Depersonalization (DP); questions related to self-reported medical errors/poor patient care quality and socio-demographic information.
Self-reported measures of burnout and poor quality of patient care.
Prevalence of burnout among physicians (n = 265) was 26.4%. There was a significant gender difference for EE and DP, but none for PA. A positive weak correlation was observed between EE and DP with medical error or poor patient care. A negative association was reported between PA and medical error and reduced quality of patient care.
Burnout is prevalent among NCHDs in Ireland. Burnout syndrome is associated with self-reported medical error and quality of care in this sample population. Measures need to be taken to address this issue, with a view to protecting health of NCHDs and maintaining quality of patient care.